First things first. I’m not one of those mums who, when asked how old their child is, replies with something like 47 weeks, or 22 months.
My maths isn’t good enough for that. I stopped with the weeks things when I got muddled up at around 14 weeks (or was it 15 weeks?)
Anyway. Sonny Jim is one. BUT as I have 13 points, it kinda wraps things up nicely to tie that in with the fact he is almost 13 months.
Right. That’s that cleared up.
Here are the 13 things that motherhood has taught me so far: (Obviously there are a lot more than this – some big, some small – but these are the ones my damn-that-sleep-regression-or-is-it-teeth muddled brain can bring to mind right at this moment.)
1 My gross threshold now is epic
Poo ALL OVER the baby? No problem. Wee spraying into your hair. Whatevs. And I don’t think you can actually call yourself a mother until your child has puked into your mouth…
2 What mum thinks is best
Because no one really knows what they’re talking about anyway. (Even those whose job it is to know. Your health visitor will tell you one thing and your GP the exact opposite. And your friend’s health visitor will say something different again.) That said, everyone has an opinion. The woman behind you in the queue at Waitrose thinks she knows waaay better than you do why your child is crying. Obviously.
3 Babies like a joke
While they might only just have mastering holding up their own head, babies just mere weeks old have some kind of sixth sense for when you have put them in “nice” clothes. And they will wait for you to dress them and get to where you are going (a wedding) or sense when you are literally about to leave the house (for a thanksgiving service – at grandma’s church) and then let rip with the most epic of poonamis. You will then have to change them in the boot of your car (yes really) minutes before the bride arrives (sorry Mr and Mrs Wolff.) Weaning will add a whole other dimension to the fun they can have at your expense. Salmon risotto and a baby that has just mastered blowing raspberries. That’s all I need to say on this point.
4 Babies have serious skills
Don’t believe me, just leave a TV remote somewhere near a tiny child. I have no idea how to change the picture so as it fits in a tiny square in the middle of our TV, but Sonny Jim has done it. Twice.
5 I am stronger than I look.
For someone who once got trapped under a weight at the one and only body pump class she ever took (those dumbbell things are heavier than they look!) I now think nothing of carrying around my 22lbs baby on one arm. While bumping his buggy up steps with my other arm. I have actual biceps now.
6 Nothing beats baby cuddles
I genuinely don’t think there is anything nicer in the world than the moment your baby learns to hug you back. Those little arms wrapped around your neck really do make you feel like you could take on the whole world, while simultaneously making your heart feel so full it actually hurts.
7 Sleep is over-rated anyway
Honestly, 5 hours uninterrupted sleep now makes me feel so good I’m positively wired. Considering pre-Sonny Jim I used to like a good 12 hours – at least – of a weekend, this has been a startling revelation.
8 Having space in bed is a luxury
It is actually possible to sleep in space approximately 30cms wide, with a baby’s foot jammed into your boob and your head hanging off the side of the bed.
9 Multitasking is the mother of all skills
It’s a case of entertain the baby, while cooking, while feeding the dog and chatting on the phone… or descending into chaos while the hubby is at work. I was pretty good at doing two things at once before becoming a mum, but nowadays I’m a multitasking pro.
10 Patience, patience, patience
Re-planning and adjusting priorities has to happen a lot with a baby. A typical day consists of what sometimes seems like a million nappy changes, clothes changes and face wipes. I didn’t know just how patient a woman I’d become until my 20th attempt at getting Sonny Jim into his cot at 3am was thwarted by him waking up (again.)
11 It’s possible to fall in love with your husband all over again
I was rather fond of Gary before Sonny Jim came along. But seeing him father our little boy, watching him play with him and glimpsing how much our boy adores his dada has made me fall for him in a whole new and even more wonderful way. Even if his snoring when I’ve just got the baby back to sleep at 3am does occasionally make me want to drop kick him.
12 Life’s too short for body hang-ups
I’ve been blessed with a pretty fast metabolism so far in life, but like most women there’s always been bits of myself I’ve not been that happy with. Since Sonny Jim’s arrival, I literally Could. Not. Care about any of that rubbish. My small boobs and me have never been so at peace.
13 The little things really are the big things
The giggles. The arms up in the air in his cot for a cuddle. The open-mouthed kiss attempts. The looks of wonderment when a balloon bounces out of his hand. These are what bring the most joy. And are to be treasured more than anything. That unconditional love people talk about? It’s so real and the bonds of it are tightened by a million little moments like these.