With a baby comes a new perspective on pretty much everything. Here are some of the things that took on a special significance after my daughter arrived:
With the arrival of a new baby, sleep is never far from your thoughts. Whether you’re trying to get baby to sleep, keep baby asleep or attempting to squeeze in a little sleep for yourself (I remember feeling on top of the world when I managed my first four hour stretch), this very basic human need becomes your obsession and the key to all happiness. You will never take it for granted again.
See that adorable little critter there, plumping out nicely round the jowls, and smiling a gummy grin up at you? Your body did that. Grew a whole person from nothing, birthed it, then (if you breastfed) provided all its nutritional needs for six months. Stretch marks? Wobbly bits? Pah. Your body is bad-ass. Time to stop being so critical of it.
Your own childhood
Becoming a parent makes you look at your own childhood with fresh eyes. I remember with new clarity how it felt to hang upside down from the monkey bars or climb a tree as high as I possibly could. The way my father stroked my hair goodnight and my mother picked gravel from my knee. A patchwork of personal memories will inform the way you raise and understand your own children and give you a new appreciation for the childhood that your own parents gave to you.
When you have a baby, the support of a husband or partner is something that is easy to take for granted, until you remember that some people don’t have someone to take over for a few hours while they catch up on sleep, cook for them while they get to grips with breastfeeding or cuddle them when they’re exhausted, irrational and weeping copiously. Be thankful and enjoy the new bond that this sometimes screaming, sometimes smiling bundle of energy will bring to your relationship.
When you have a baby, your time becomes very precious and that’s because you don’t really have any. The day starts at 7am (if you’re lucky) and simply hurtles by at top speed, in all directions, until you tumble exhausted into bed as early as you can legitimately get away with.
Life in general
When you are watching a life unfold before your very eyes, you find a new appreciation for quite how quickly it all passes and fades away. My daughter’s chubby little wrists. The way she smells in her pyjamas straight after her bath, or kicks her legs with delight when I push her on the swings. Life is no longer another day, another month, another year.
When you have a baby, suddenly, each moment seems to count that bit more.
Other mothers, everywhere
Since becoming a mother myself, I have a new appreciation for all other mothers everywhere, my own mother in particular. Quite simply, the whole world would come crashing down without them. They rock.