This is a rather indulgent post, I hope mothers out there will find it as something they can relate to, and prospective mothers may find it reassuring! As my son has just turned 11 months and we’re preparing for his very first birthday, I’m feeling very reflective about the past year and how much me and my husbands lives have changed.

When you’re pregnant fear mongers like to remind you that you’ll never have a proper nights sleep again; or a lie in, or a night out! Make the most of it they say because everything is going to change. And they’re right. Everything has changed. The cliches are true – time does go past so fast, you can’t prepare for how much a child will change you. But what no-one mentions is that actually you won’t mind! Getting up at 6am on holiday is fine, sure I’m tired but I get to watch my son playing in his pjs exploring the new environment, I enjoy and appreciate every moment with my son. Nights outs are a thing of the past, don’t get me wrong I definitely miss going to the cinema whenever I want to see the new release, but given the choice i’d much prefer sleepy cuddles and watching my little creation sleep so soundly than a night out getting drunk in a crowded bar. Entertainment isn’t watching TV, entertainment is watching my boy play with his toys, the concentration on his face as he discovers how they work and what he can achieve. 

My son has learnt so much in his short time on earth, he’s learnt how to drink, eat and play, he’s learnt how to roll then crawl and now almost walk, he can laugh and giggle and clap his hands, and he’s the most groovy dancer! But even though I’m an adult I think I have learnt more. I’ve learnt patience, waiting 13 days past my due date for his arrival! I’ve learnt endurance, I can survive 30 hours of labour and 2 hours pushing on only sips of water and seven days in hospital. Tiredness, I can function on very little sleep – in fact I haven’t had a full nights sleep and lie in for 11 months now! I’ve learnt the real meaning of guilt, guilt isn’t eating a whole sharing size bar of chocolate – guilt is when your child hurts himself in your care and you feel truly gutted. There’s a different side to sadness, sure I’ve felt at times extremely sad, but there’s something gut wrenchingly difficult about watching your child cry uncontrollably in teething pain and there’s nothing you can do to make it better.

But more than that I’ve learnt a new kind a love. Love at first sight does exist. From the moment I set eyes on my son I loved him uncontrollably, he was mine – he had just put me through the most gruelling time of my life, but I loved him in a way I can’t even put into words. Love is when he decides without being asked to come for a cuddle, he really gives the best hugs. That feeling when he falls asleep nursing and memories I will keep with me for the rest of my life. Love for my husband who surprised me so much with his ability to both be a dad and an amazing supportive husband, the love for my husband and changed and grown in a new way – my two boys are my world.

I’ve learnt true pride, pride and confidence in myself which id never really felt before, but pride in my son – I’m so incredibly proud of every thing he’s achieved, everyday he does something new for me to be proud of, little things – when he smiles at a stranger, eats a whole fish finger, waves at the check out person in Morrisons!

Selflessness, his needs, wants and desires will come before mine. Every time. He can have the last Rolo.

Happiness and joy, this year has by far been the happiest of my life. Happy is making your baby laugh, true joy is when you’re looking into each others eyes and he’s laughing uncontrollably, when you watch from afar as he plays with family members and the amount they love him and he brings so much joy to their lives too. I’ve never laughed so much, he makes me laugh every hour of every day with the daft and mischievous things he does.

So, Happy Birthday, son. The best things in life truly are free, and the world is a much ricer place with you in it.

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