Last night I put my son to bed for the last time as a ‘baby’. I guess he’s still my baby, but as he turned one today (at 4.34pm to be exact) I feel like he’s now on the fast track to growing up. Once he finished his milk, I lifted him up and his little body slumped against my torso and he laid his head on my shoulder for our nightly bedtime cuddle. I held the embrace longer than usual before placing him in his cot.
I love being a parent. I’ve always loved kids, so I think I always knew I would but negativity surrounding having children, the articles people write and the things people say (“prepare to never sleep again” and “forget going to movies or out to dinner just because you feel like it!”) weighed heavily on me and halted my immediate desire to try for a family. I loved my life. I loved sleep, I loved being spontaneous, I loved being active and I loved work – especially being a double income couple. I was aware of the significant life changes that needed to be made to accommodate a child. Why would I choose to turn the world, as I knew it, on its head? I was scared I’d no longer be ‘me’, I’d lose who I was and just be ‘someone’s mum’, confined to my house with no one but Bert & Ernie to talk to.
Because of this, I’d been putting off actively trying for a child. Yet on November 29th, 2012 two little lines brought with them shock, anxiety and the impending sense of unbelievable responsibility that awaited us. It’s not how I imagined I’d feel when I discovered our firstborn was on the way. It was 4 weeks out from Christmas after all, and it’s hard enough trying to cover up the early stages of a pregnancy, let alone getting through Christmas and New Year without so much as a glass of wine.
It didn’t take me long for the fear to dissipate and be replaced with excitement and love and on this very day last year, after a 13 hour labour, Jack made his way into the world. I loved him the second I saw him and I cried more than he did, out of pure joy for this little being that was looking up at me. I’d never seen a more perfect face.
I can’t picture a world without you. You’re a joy, a treasure, a love I could never have imagined. You love laughing, giving kisses, Giggle & Hoot (especially the theme song) and you’ll get onto your feet at any opportunity. You eat like a champ, sleep like a dream and have two little front teeth. Books are your favourite, as are walks with the dog and bath time with Dad. If I ask you how tall you are, you stretch your little arms up to the top of your head. We’ve given you a million cute nicknames and I’m sure we’ll come up with many more.
Thank you for making me a better version of myself. I didn’t lose who I was the second I became a mum, I’m still ‘me’, but with a greater purpose and a fuller heart. I check on you sleeping before I go to bed and I feel like the luckiest person in the world.
Happy 1st Birthday.
I love you so much.