Soaking It In
Parenthood is relentless and when your baby doesn’t like to be away from you for even a minute it can be very hard to step back and appreciate it sometimes.
Parents of older children love to remind me, ‘this time will go so fast and they’ll grow up in the blink of an eye, so enjoy it while you can!’. I try my best to enjoy it all. The cute little dimples on his knuckles. His toothless grin. The way he looks so perfectly peaceful and angelic when he’s asleep. The little noises he makes when he’s laughing or crying in his dreams.
I’m draped over the side of our little one’s cot at two o’clock in the morning, exhausted
and frustrated. I’m on the brink of tears when he suddenly blurts out what sounds like ‘Mama!’. He’s just shy of seven months and this week he’s been experimenting a lot with sounds like ‘ba’ and ‘ma’. I’m pretty sure he’s not actually saying ‘Mama’ but it makes me melt anyway. In that moment I instantly soften. I find myself smiling down at him as he continues to babble away at me. It’s a special moment, even though we should both be asleep and we’ve definitely woken his Dad by now.
It can be exhausting always being needed
but it’s a very special thing so I try to appreciate that too. The way he looks at me when it’s nearly time to nurse him
. How his little hands cling to me when I pick him up. When he rests his head against me when he’s sleepy and just needs a cuddle to help him relax. This is a very intense time and there’s no shame in feeling overwhelmed. I keep remembering that it’s time we will never get again. I owe it to myself and our baby to take a breath and be grateful when it’s all getting to be a bit much.
As he sleeps
on me now, I try to ignore that I’ve lost the feeling in my legs and I could really use a drink. I try to concentrate on soaking it all in. He’s holding his little arms at his sides and his legs are bent as though he’s in the middle of an Irish dance (his Grandfather would be proud!). His pacifier starts to slip out every now and then so he sucks it back in and chews it a few times before settling again. He stirs, rubs his eyes, then reaches out and puts his tiny hand on my chest, taking a deep breath before drifting back to sleep.
I am so in love. I am so lucky, and I am so grateful.