It has been so long since my last post that I almost couldn’t log in!
This morning my life looks like what a lot of people imagine a mum’s life to be, while child is in school. It’s lovely. A moment to savour because I know it is fleeting and we don’t know what will be happening tomorrow (actually, I am 90% sure that I will be at work tomorrow, but life can be unpredicatable)
Four years into parenting and I cringe to think of more experienced parents reading this. I won’t know for a few more years how obvious, or naive I may sound. But I will write anyway because this is where I am right now.
So many people tell you to savour the moments. Your baby will not be a baby for very long. Before you know it your baby is a toddler, and then your toddler is a pre-schooler, and then your pre-schooler is heading off to kinder. I have been getting the message to savour time with my baby/toddler/child since day one. What people don’t tell you is to savour other things, which will be just as fleeting.
Savour the summer that you have new neighbours, beautiful weather, no wasps. The afternoons spent in their backyard, or yours, with two little boys playing, the summer days stretching out gloriously.
Savour the months of having a regular Thursday playdate/dinner; shared time, shared load.
Savour the months of living practically next to a favourite bookshop and yes, savour all the books bought. Don’t worry about the money spent on them because soon enough, life will change and suddenly you only make it to the bookshop once every three to four months, when you make a special effort.
Savour the day at the playground where you meet another parent and actually talk and bond, and probably never see each other again.
Savour any true conversations with other parents. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how well you click, life happens and can consistently block future conversations so savour them when they do happen.
Savour the day of playing hookey with your child and sharing a whimsical day together.
Especially savour the days or moments where you think, “I’ve got this. I’m good. Everything is fine”. You need to hold those moments in your mind on the other days, the so, so, so many other days, when everything is overwhelming and you decide by 10am that the new goal for the day is to get through it, all other goals (laundry, cooking, cleaning, shopping) are to be dropped for that day.
Everyone tells you that your child will grow and change so quickly, but they neglect to mention that your life will also change rapidly along with your child. They do say that life will never be the same after having children (true, true, TRUE!) but they don’t say that your new normal (when you finally feel that you have one) will only last a few months at best. Then there will be change and then you will find a new new normal. Which will last for a few months. Then there will be change and…you get the gist.
Cafe visits are a necessity in the first year. A chance to interact with another adult! Caffeine! Or Chai! Or something sugary to pep you up after a long, multi-waking night. Then suddenly, your child is on the move and cafes are swapped for playgrounds and you dream of the days when you could sit, comatose, staring into your coffee while your baby was content in their pram.
The first year, if you are lucky enough to have a great mother’s group, consists of very regular contact with other mums, and maybe dads, who are sharing the same journey. Then people start returning to work, the catch-ups drop off and soon it is 1-3 times a year that you manage to all catch up together. I wish I’d savoured the early gatherings more, rather than assuming that they would go on for years.
So many things that I didn’t treasure enough at the time. I wanted them to continue, indefinitely and so was looking forward to the next times and not appreciating the current moment enough.
I enjoyed them, but there was always the thought, “This is great. We should do this more often, When can I pencil in the next time”. Disappointment followed on, as everyone’s lives are unpredictable. Children get sick. Work commitments change. Family commitments increase. Four months can pass in the blink of the eye.
It’s taken me four years,a lot of breaking points and a desire to be happier in myself to finally realise that I just need to appreciate each moment for what it is. No focusing on what it could become. Not focusing on when we can do this again. Just appreciating each moment for what it is, rather than what it could be
EDIT – 31 May, 2015. This post was started 10 days ago, when my morning looked like this:
Then, just as I was finishing my chai, but not this post, I was called by Monsieur’s kinder to come and collect him. He had a fever and needed to come home. The rest of my day looked more like this:
When I said that I was 90% sure I would be going to work the next day, I should have been betting on the 10% unknown. The next ten days saw a lot of:
Efforts to get food into him were met with mixed reactions…
He will be going back to kinder tomorrow and I will be picking up where I left off ten days ago, savouring moments when they happen, because you never know what’s around the corner, and right now is my moment to finish and publish a post! (even though it’s not properly finished…!)