You know that poem, can’t think of the name or even the exact words, let alone who wrote it. Until this year I’d always considered it soppy and a trifle cheesy; the one which goes something along the lines of “Time goes too fast for those who … too slow for those who …“? All I can say, as I’m 5 days away from returning to work – how true! Where oh where did these 9 months go. On Saturday my darling boy will have been in the world for 9 whole months … that’s equal to the amount of time he spent cooking in my tummy. I’ve pondered the strange concept of Mummy time ever since Fred’s arrival … but this week I’ve been a bit emotional at the prospect of maternity leave drawing to an end. I’ve looked back on the beautiful memories of the past 9 months; how much fun we’ve had, and all the things we’ve experienced together. I know I am fortunate, to have savoured every last moment, and to have shared so many precious moments with my baby [and to have recorded many in this Blog]. We’ve done Baby Sensory, Moo Music, Water Babies, Tiny Tots, Baby Painting, Breastfeeding Group, Rhythm Time … we’ve been to beach parties and halloween parties; and this Sunday I’m particularly excited about a “my first Christmas” party. We’ve made friends, and we’ve developed a lovely routine together.
Babies grow so quickly; quicker than I was ever prepared for. It seems like yesterday I was nursing a growing bump this time last year; wearing a “Santa Baby” t shirt and wondering what life would be like a year on. Never could I have imagined how amazing 2015 would’ve been with my Freddie in the world. Somehow, you take home a newborn, and blink … and you have a babbling, crawling, tooth chomping 9 month old. REWIND PLEASE! It scares me how fast Freddie has grown; I still remember our first night here so well. It’s different, being a single mum – because you spend so much one on one time with your baby. Those first weeks, it was just me and Fred in our flat, and I’m proud that I’ve managed, and nurtured such a sociable, cheerful and loving little boy. There were times when I was so tired I didn’t think I could get out of bed and function let alone change a nappy; yet you do … out of love. There’s no one to share the middle of the night worries with, or to debate parenting philosophies at 4am; but that makes you stronger, because you get on and do it on your own.
I keep telling myself that 16 hours over 4 days is perfectly do-able. I’ve done two Keep in Touch days, and Freddie has been fine, and delighted to see me on my return. My boobs have survived the morning without exploding over my blouse, and I know we will adapt our routine. It will be fine; yet I know I will hanker after these glorious days of maternity leave – 0f planning your week around play dates and baby groups. I’ll miss being there for every first; and I hate the thought of my baby crying and momma not being there to make it better. It feels like the first Rite of Passage into non-babyhood, and this does make me sad. Freddie will always be my baby … my little boy.
And tonight, as we were bopping in the kitchen to Kelly Clarkson’s “Underneath the Tree” whilst I cooked tea, Freddie was bouncing up and down in his high chair, chuckling … I looked at him and realised that I have a little boy now .. not a baby; a little boy with such personality and expression. A little boy who will clap when I say “clap” and wave when I say “wave”. And he’s mine, he’s really mine … the little boy who entered the world splashing around in the birthing pool 9 whole months ago; enriching my world and capturing my heart.