When I was pregnant the first time, I had the usual comments ‘they don’t stay tiny for long’, ‘they start school before you know it’ and the favorite, ‘enjoy every second’ from well-intentioned family, friends and random strangers.
Yeah, yeah – yet another cliché I thought – you don’t need to remind me to ENJOY motherhood, it goes without saying.
I filled our days with baby groups, leisurely walks and meeting friends for coffee. I religiously recorded every outfit change (which would be perfectly coordinated and planned in advance), windy smile and gurgle with a photo or video. We did ‘baby yoga’ and ‘baby massage’. No one else to answer to, no schedule to keep to. I was able to savour every second with this tiny human around which my whole universe revolved.
We bobbed along in a blissful baby bubble. It felt like those days would last forever.
Well, they didn’t because E is now four and I’m bewildered as to how my boy is already five weeks old. This week it felt like I blinked and somehow he’d put on a pound in weight and started to smile already. How can he have already outgrown some of his newborn clothes?
Thankfully I’ve taken plenty of photos, albeit quick snaps on my phone (even the crappiest photo can be improved with an Instagram filter).
It’s different this time and the reason is pretty obvious. Baby number one is, of course, still baby number one. Baby massage? Yoga? Pah. When would we find the time between big sister’s gym classes, swimming lessons and endless play dates with friends?! The poor little guy has already been dragged to four Frozen/princess themed birthday parties in his short life.
I remember lazy days snoozing on the sofa watching back-to-back episodes of Come Dine With Me with the little lady. If only! His sleeping/feeding schedule is squashed around her epic social life.
As for me, if I thought I could multitask before… now I’m a pro. I build Lego and breastfeed simultaneously. Cook her dinner while he snoozes in the baby carrier. Plait her hair and bounce the baby chair with my foot.
The fact that my first child IS now on the verge of starting school has made me much more aware of how quickly the second will grow. There’s no point feeling sad about it because I can’t slow him down. Nor can I limit the expectations and demands of crazy four year old.
Yes, it is very different this time, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be just as blissful. Blissful in a slightly more haphazard flying-out-the-door-with-no make-up-on-and-sick-in-my-hair kind of way.
Baby yoga is out of the question, but I now finally appreciate all those ‘enjoy every second’ comments and I’ve promised myself to savour every single windy smile and gurgle as much as I did the first time.