I have always wished I could be one of those mummies who are super organised, you know the kind who never look flustered, can do the school run with a full face of make up and heels on and you just know have meticulously documented every one of their child’s milestones in a beautiful baby book. Sadly I’m the complete opposite of this type of mummy. Of course it’s been so exciting to see my children developing and learning new things but I couldn’t give you an exact date or time that they said their first words, or took their first steps. Being a working mum I’m sure I’ve even missed some of these milestone moments but I’ve come to realise that as special as all the ‘first times’ are, they are not what’s most important.
My littlest is almost 2 years old now but an important milestone for me happened the day she was born. I was lying in bed asleep one morning, 37 weeks pregnant and having the strangest dream (I was in an underground station and was lost. I started to cry. Then the water started to fill up and flood the place, like that bit in Alice and Wonderland. Sorry, this is irrelevant but anyway….) All of a sudden my waters broke. This wasn’t ideal as I was on my own with my two other kids and my husband was over 300 miles away with work. Trying to remain calm I quickly called my husband, who couldn’t disguise how not calm he was, then went to have a shower. My plan at this time was to get ready, feed the kids, get them ready, take them to school and nursery and patiently await the arrival of my husband to go to the hospital to deliver our new baby. Foolproof, right? Well no, because I’d got up to the part where I get them ready and was starting to get some really quite painful contractions. I needed a plan B so called my mum to ask her to do the school run as now I was too busy being in labour. So my mum arrived to pick up the kids. The contractions were getting pretty bad now and by this time I was thinking perhaps even plan b was failing and plan c – just get to the bloody hospital should come into play. I asked my mum to take kids to school as planned and I would get my things together for the hospital. So my mum was ushering the kids towards the door and I went into the bathroom. Can you see where this is going? Having had two kids before I realised with horror the unmistakable feeling of the baby’s imminent arrival. I was so scared, I mean there is a very good reason that no one features being alone and the bathroom floor in their birth plan! And with that our dramatic little princess made her arrival. In that moment of checking she was ok and breathing was the first time she scared me so much I felt like my heart stopped beating. It was such an important milestone to me because it was in that exact moment of all the panic and fear I realised I loved this little human so much I could burst and would do absolutely anything to protect her and keep her safe. Thankfully my daughter was fine and healthy but I still can’t even bear to think about the what ifs.
The first photo: being checked out in hospital after her speedy arrival
I may not remember the exact time but I vividly remember all the overwhelming feelings I had and I think that’s so much more important, whether it’s fear (and you feel plenty of that if your kids are anything like my little monkeys who climb on everything!) or pride when they take their first steps, or joy the first time they tell you they love you. There are so many highs and lows, first times and last times as a parent I want to live in the moment and remember how I felt on this adventure. I don’t need to remember that my sons first fart was at 8.42pm, or that he took his first steps 4 weeks after Jill from down the roads cousin’s nephew, who I’ve never met but saw it on Facebook. I love every second of watching my kids grow and develop new skills, but I don’t want to worry about remembering the exact time of their ‘firsts’ and whether it was before or after other people’s kids. Rather than focus on the timing of their first smile or laugh, I just want to be happy seeing them smile and laugh every day and appreciate each moment with them as they learn and grow.
Maybe not the first, but still amazing smiles!
Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday