I had a baby.
The last time I had a baby was just over two years ago, around the same time that we began watching Game of Thrones.
Interestingly, I can remember virtually every storyline of Game of Thrones and yet I had forgotten many of the details of life with a newborn. Such as...
- How it is that they sleep for 23 hours a day, and yet you only sleep for 20 minutes.
- How it is that they sleep for 23 hours a day, and yet flossing your teeth now seems as frivolous as a luxury pedicure once did.
- The amount of things it is possible to do one-handed, if you really try.
- That it is not possible to put a bra on one-handed, even if you really try.
- Just how damn cute they are.
- How your world shrinks and nothing else seems very important anymore. Except where the biscuits are.
That first day was a hormonally-charged mix of deep happiness and also a tiny tinge of sadness. My little girl now seemed so big, and I struggled with not being able to orbit around her as I used to. She's adjusting well though, and is 'helping' in small ways - like fishing out my boobs to 'find food' for the baby (quite cute at home; less so on the 137 bus).
On that first day I wondered how on earth I was going to be able to be the kind of mother I want to be, to both these little people. I thought back to a book I read during pregnancy, The Mindful Mother (see the mindfulness books page), and inspired by Naomi Chunilal's words came up with the following plan:
- To wake up (reality check: 'to get up') each morning, remember how lucky we are, and make a choice to experience the day in a positive way.
- To accept the tiredness, the sibling juggling, the endless nappies; all of it - without wishing any of it were different, or less smelly. To appreciate all the messy little details, just as they are.
- To dig deep - to find the energy to play with the toddler, or the grace to ask my husband how he's doing, without entering into a competitition about who is most tired.*
- To be kind and gentle with all of us, including me. To grab rest when I can, and to find small spaces for small things that I find restorative (fresh air, deep breaths, Pinot Noir).
- To order more biscuits.
This post originally appeared on Parenting Calm, a blog about mindful living and positive parenting - with a sense of humour.
If you enjoyed this post, you can sign up for weekly emails here.
Suggested For You
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements. Learn more