This time next year…

As I was spooning coffee granules in to Addison’s bottle and formula in to my coffee mug this morning, it dawned on me just how mentally and physically drained I am feeling.

I glanced up at the calendar on the wall to see a beautiful photograph taken this time last year of a tiny little Woo lying in his pram wearing a pair of shades and clutching a teething toy for dear life. I remember that day as clear as if it was only yesterday, we had barely slept and with The Irish One just about to return to work I had decided, after another full night of no sleep to try and shed some of the much unwanted baby weight and take little baby Addison for a walk in his pram. The sun was shining, my stitches were a itching and I pulled on my pre pregnancy jeans full of hope.

We are going out today little one! Just you and mammy!

After 17 outfit changes, one strop from me, a minor strop from Addison and a bit of excitement off Doodle we finally managed to leave the house. We were like the three amigos, one with a full nappy, one covered in baby sick and one walking on all fours. (I could be either of those last two.)

We walked to MacDonald’s (the Holy Grail), where I bought a coffee, let Woo have a daydream and Doodle a bit of a sniff  and a roam around a discarded burger. I hung around outside wondering what to do next not accustomed to having all this time to do nothing (and everything) by myself and slowly began my new commute home.  

Not being in work was unsettling. Watching cars drive past, full of people with places to go and people to see, I looked down at my sleeping new-born and down to my happy poodle and thought there must be something wrong with me. I should be enjoying this time off shouldn’t I? Why do I feel so lost? Why do I feel like something is missing? My son is beautiful, the days are our own and life has slowed down (and sped up) at a new pace.

I will get used to it, I thought to myself pulling my jumper down over my empty bump ashamedly and shuffling back up across the road.

This time next year, I will be slim again; I will have had a full night’s sleep and Addison will be able to toddle along with me. This time next year, I thought to myself, all this learning and adjusting will be over and I will be settled in to the mammy role properly. This time next year, I will be just getting back to work and Addison will be making friends at nursery. This time next year will be perfect and all these worries I have now I will be able to look back on and laugh.

We continued on home with the thoughts of an afternoon of sterilizing on my mind. We were just reaching the last bend and I was breathing like an elephant from all the exertion when Addison coughed up half his previous bottle and nearly choked. My rush to get him unwrapped and upright, caused me to fumble with the brake on the pram, drop the dogs lead and spill a half empty cup of steaming hot coffee, all over my hands, down my front and on to my exposed flip flopped toes. Racing for the lead, holding the tiny baby and trying not to cry, I thought to myself, this time next year this will all be a distant memory.  

This time next year is my light at the end of the tunnel.

Fast forward back to this morning and here I am spooning Starbucks instant Via, full powered coffee in to my sons breakfast bottle.  Yes I have learnt a hell of a lot this year, I think to myself turning around and walking full on, in to an open cupboard door and nearly knocking myself out. I have learnt a hell of a lot.

The first thing being that maybe the fuses have blown in the tunnel.

  • I have learnt to never EVER take for granted anesthetic. (Stitching round two? Sans numbness? Not so fun!)
  • I have learnt to never underestimate the power of hormones (especially in relation to objects not nailed down.)
  • I have learnt that not eating, means zero energy and minimal weight loss (and a pan au chocolate binge at the end of the day.)
  • I have learnt to beat myself up over the smallest failings.
  • I have learnt to beat myself up, over beating myself up over the smallest failings.
  •  I have learnt that blue carpet will not hide white baby sick, no matter how hard I scuff it with my toe, as the doorbell rings.
  • I have learnt to do what my gut tells me and only take advice if I absolutely believe in the advice myself. (Nothing wrong with him you say, give him proper milk, you say?)
  • I have learnt I am not the perfect mother as she doesn’t exist.
  • I have learnt to not pick arguments, but save myself for the hum-dingers.
  • I have learnt having a baby is a massive strain on your relationship but you can get through it. Together. (But keep a spade on hand, just in case.)
  • I have learnt the words to every single Bear in the big blue house episode, and now, most of Toy story 1 and 2 too.
  • I have learnt that it is ok to cry. Just try not to do it at the supermarket quite so much. (Now I know why the check-out girls see me coming and grimace.)
  • I have learnt to trust in myself, in those I care for and ignore those who‘s only purpose is to criticize, condemn and complain.
  • I have learnt that no matter how much I screw my eyes closed and pray, morning still comes 20 minutes after I have shut my eyes. And then every half an hour on the hour until 6am.
  • I have learnt that making a rod for your own back, is hard, but well worth it for those special moments I have enjoyed cozying up with my favourite boy.
  • I have learnt patience. (Slowly.) And
  • I have learnt,  that no matter what, I am always right. (Ahem.)

This time last year I was waiting for the light to be switched on at the end of the tunnel, and in many ways I am still waiting now.

But one thing is for sure. I am a different person this year to who I was last year. Yes, I am still a bumbling, grumbling, dizzy, overweight, unfit and struggling mother who is still trying to learn to function on minimal sleep and maximum hormonal imbalance but I am also beginning to understand, this time next year is a whole year away. Why not try to relish the here and now a little more? Why not try to accept present circumstances, a little more.

It is as I go to put the murky brown bottle to my sons mouth, and take a sip of piss yellow soya tea, that I laugh out loud and look down to see my little boy looking up at me, his eyes too, shining with laughter.   

‘Mammy,’ he seems to say ‘you are a goose, and you will still be a goose this time next year! Now go make me another bottle…’

And off I trot, but not before kicking the dog’s water bowl in to the door and drenching the car seat waiting in the hall.

This time next year I will be asleep, I think to myself hopefully, right before slipping arse over tit on the water, and nearly braining myself on the radiator.

This time next year I will be asleep.

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14 Comments on “This time next year…

  1. Great post! Listen to your own advice “But one thing is for sure. I am a different person this year to who I was last year. Yes, I am still a bumbling, grumbling, dizzy, overweight, unfit and struggling mother who is still trying to learn to function on minimal sleep and maximum hormonal imbalance but I am also beginning to understand, this time next year is a whole year away.” ESPECIALLY : ” Why not try to relish the here and now a little more? Why not try to accept present circumstances, a little more.” Print it & pin it up all over the place.
    And remember there are always your friends out there to support you along the way. Take care!

  2. Another amazing post! As many have mentioned above, the one I wished I’d done was Live in the here and now. I have missed so much of my baby’s young life-time and moments I’ll never get back. Learning to not beat yourself up is an amazing feat as well. (still working on it myself) Your list of things learned paints a picture of the hard but magnificient year you’ve had! Glad you’re here to keep us laughing. x

  3. You have a way with words. From beginning to end I hung onto each one. You’re doing great and each day is a new day. A way to begin again.

  4. Moon sent me a link and I am glad he did. Having 8 months old baby I know what are you talking about. There were days where routine took over and I was waiting for next step, sleep, wake up, nappy change, feed.. cry.. what’s wrong.. sleep, wake up, nappy.. all over and over. Thank God baby boy wasn’t difficult, didn’t cry much and slept quite OK during the night. But then it has changed. Changed for better. And now being back full time employed, having someone else looking after our baby brought all memories back. I want the time with him. I don’t wish time away and waiting for next step. I want more than just 3 hours before he goes to sleep. I don’t even mind when he wakes up at the middle of the night.. why? Because I simply want to hold, give him a kiss and look at him. Loosing precious time makes me appreciate more time which I have with my son. Feeling low, ugly, fat, lost, useless, helpless.. that all belongs to ‘after pregnant time’ .. all of us have it. AND IT IS OK. Keep strong and ignore people who drain you energy. Don’t even look at them, don’t talk to them. You are doing just well and you are nothing different from all of other mums. We all are going through ups and downs, wherever we want to admit it or realize it. Just keep smiling and enjoying your little one. :)))

    • Thank you so much for your lovely and heart felt comment, you made me cry as i am sure this is how i will feel when i go back to work as well. The routine can take over but like you say we just need to remember that every day is a gift not to be wasted, i need to remind myself of this from time to time. I am sure your son is absolutely beautiful and worships both yourself and your lovely husband. you have a beautiful little family and based on what you have told me i can tell you are an amazing and wonderfully caring mummy. thank you so much for your kind kind words and the reality check. you are right of course i will miss him when i am back at work and i need to focus more on the here and now. big hugs and thank you thank you thank you xxxx

  5. This is such a great post – you’ve captured everything perfectly – how hard it is to be a new mum, how hard it is to be a not so new mum, how tiredness saps the fun out of everything, how we are are own worst critic…. And crucially you have the answers too – ‘try to live in the here and now’ and ‘try to laugh a little more’. You know there are so many times when you can choose whether to lose it or just choose to laugh at it all instead. And btw – it does get easier I promise. x

    • Thank you Kate I really appreciate it. It is hard but it is getting easier and maybe the light has been on a while, but i have been so caught up in beating myself up i havent noticed. I really appreciate your words of wisdom x

  6. I am so pleased that you wrote the sentence: “Why not try to relish the here and now a little more?” because I think this is the issue. We are changed women; our bodies have done the most amazing thing in the world, we have fulfilled our purpose, we are no longer practising – this is it. Before we could waste days and it would only affect ourselves, now I am very conscious that I am responsible for providing my son with the happiest life that he can have, and for that he needs a happy mummy. *He* makes me happy, he is *my* light at the end of the tunnel.

    I thank the Lord that I don’t have to count out scoops of formula anymore! You have no idea how many times I had to empty the bottle and start again. Hubby and I have seven A levels, a BTEC, two degrees and a Masters between us and we used to have to count the scoops out loud. Ridiculous!

  7. This is a brilliant post. I am with you every step of the way. Hoorah for the here and now! Hang in there. Tomorrow is another day (probably just as crap but what the heck it’s coming anyway!)

  8. another great post. I love the : I have learnt to not pick arguments, but save myself for the hum-dingers. I will try & remember that one!
    I hope you’re feeling a bit better now and can start to see that light at the end of the tunnel
    xx

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