My son is four months old, and I’ve spent the last four months, longing for the next stage. The next month, the next milestone, the next step. It’s time we stop wishing away our days. I’ve been the first to do it: I couldn’t wait for the big milestones; for him to sit up, to talk, to crawl, to walk – if I’m honest, I still can’t wait. But being so focused on all of the things to come has meant that I have very much been complacent with the little milestones he’s already accomplished. I didn’t celebrate the first time he blew a raspberry, because I was waiting for the first time he said mummy, or the first time he grabbed at my hair, because I was still waiting for him to be able to grab his toys. It’s not that I wasn’t recognizing these milestones, I was, and I was happy about them, I was always just more focused on what else was to come. It’s easy to wish away the days, to not be able to wait for the crawling stage, or the running around stage, but I’ve spent all of my newborn days wishing for the next stage, and those newborn days I’ve wished away have all but disappeared. It’s taken me four months to realize, but I’m now making more of a conscious effort to take everything about every day with my son in; my time on maternity leave is quickly coming to an end, and with it, I say goodbye to my ability to fully relish in the tiny moments.
I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve wished away the days because some have been difficult. I’ve came to terms with the fact that I struggled with the newborn days more than I cared to admit, I was plagued with baby blues and confusion, and I’m sad to admit that the fact that I didn’t enjoy the first few months. It was a culture shock, and I longed for the day when it all just got that little bit easier. The sleepless nights, the constant inability to put my son down, the lack of any sort of freedom. If I’m brutally honest, I longed for the days when he was fun. When we could play, and interact, and my source of entertainment was no longer the maternity leave fueled dribble on Jeremy Kyle. It’s a little bit selfish, but with every one of his milestones, I regained a bit of independence. But somewhere in the haze of sleepless nights and teething terrors, my newborn isn’t so newborn any more, and I can’t help but wish I could have a little bit more time before he grows anymore. Somewhere in between the newborn days and this past few weeks, I’ve fell in love with being a mum to my child, it was gradual for me, but at some point, it became less of a difficult adjustment and more of a life I was enjoying living. In the same time though, my newborn baby has grown up, not a lot, but just enough. I’ll miss the newborn cuddles, the smell and the inquisitive looks: the innocence of everything, and the sheer joy that lights up his face when he hears our voices. Of course, I’ve realised this as only as we’ve left those days behind. In my quest to make my own life easier, I’ve failed to fully appreciate the moments we’ve already had.
I wish I could put him down for a few minutes.
I wish he could be on solids.
I wish he’d crawl.
I wish he’d walk.
I wish he’d talk.
I wish I’d stopped with the wishing and started living in the moment with my newborn.
Those are days I’ll never regain, and it’s a regret I’ll probably have forever. My son isn’t a toddler, he is not a child yet, he is a baby, and I am now making the most of this stage with him. This week, he’s spent his days in vests and sleepsuits, not restricted in the dungarees and shirts I normally succumb too in the Next racks. I’ll be the first to admit to dressing my baby older than he is, but should I be? I will dress him however I see fit, but there comes a time when I can’t help question if I’m forcing him to grow up too quickly. This query isn’t stemming from the shirts, or the jeans, or the baby converse: the grown up clothes are simply another means to highlight the fact that we’re forcing our children to grow up too quickly. It’s stemming from wishing away our days, from technology, from the differences in my childhood to the one I’m giving my own baby. Children these days seem to both act and look older than their years, so is it wrong of me to want to keep my baby young for just that little bit longer? Spending a week in our jammies isn’t going to allow me to do that, but it did allow me to live in the moment just that little bit more: I was excited over the raspberries, over the first disgusting nappy after solids, and although markedly less excited, I appreciated the 4am cuddles that little bit more, living by the notion that they will not be here for ever.
A pack of vests and a few days in sleepsuits will never change how I’ve handled the last few months. I’ll forever kick myself for not living in the moment that little bit more in the first few months, but that pack of vests was enough to give me the kick up the arse needed to appreciate these little moments. There was no magical revelation, I simply realized that sometime when I’ve been moaning about his inability to sleep, he’s grown up more than I’ve even noticed. This week, in the depths of the four month sleep regression, I can count the hours of sleep I’ve had on two hands. I’m drained, both physically and mentally, and yet, I’ve spent my days playing, giggling, laughing with my happy little four month old, and not once have I found myself wishing for the next stage. Sometimes all it takes is going back to basics for a little while to understand what is really important in life, and at the moment, that’s not crawling, or walking, or talking – it’s blowing raspberries and making screwed up faces at Butternut Squash. I refuse to wish away any more of our days.
All of the vests in these pictures can be found here. They were sent to us via The Essential One and I’ll have a full review of them up next week, although as you can probably guess by the fact that we used them for a weeks straight, they are possibly the best quality basics we’ve found yet.