Hindsight. It’s such a bittersweet thing. You could go crazy thinking about what you would have done differently if put back into a past situation. Act differently. Maybe get that last word in! Avoid an accident.
I’ve been looking at little Piglet recently and feeling sad. Not for her but for her elder sister. I wrote a post a while back about how I was not saying sorry to my second born. This is still so true. Piglet has really had the best of me as a Mummy. Less stressed, much more go with the flow. I spend more time cuddling and playing with her and the result is such an amazing bond. She’s such a Mummy’s girl and a chilled out little bean. Could be her nature regardless but I like to think my attitude has contributed a little.
I’ve been wracking my brains to try and remember the details of the gremlin’s first 6 months. It’s a blur. I know that it could be just a side effect of having a newborn; the fog and haze of tiredness and overwhelming change. Possibly but I also think it’s partly because I know I didn’t feel like I actually knew what I was doing until the 6 month mark. I distinctly remember feeling I wasn’t fully enjoying it until then. Motherhood. Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t completely miserable or unhappy. There was just this niggly feeling, especially in the very early days.
What I am doing?
Why have we done this?
Is this is my life now, worrying about this little thing?
I’m not sure I like it.
It took some time. The gremlin and I had to get to know each other; suss each other out and get our routine together. It took time but I remember snapping pictures of her at 6 months, as she lay on her front playing, thinking this was what it was all about. She was my little baby girl and the love was strong. I felt more confident. I was getting there and it was all ok.
Despite this now I just feel sad for my gremlin. Although she won’t remember, I feel I wasn’t myself through the first 6 months or so of her life. I didn’t have PND; I know I was just adjusting and knackered. No one can tell what being a parent is going to be like and nothing can really prepare you. No matter how patronising this sound to people without kids, you won’t know what has hit you. Emotionally and physically; your life is turned upside down for a while.
I was convinced I shouldn’t hold my newborn gremlin all the time as I would make a rod for my own back. She fed a lot so quite often when she was finished I would hand her to hubby or my Mum. Honestly? I was fed up of being a human cow, or that’s what it felt like. She wasn’t as easy as her baby sister who had good gaps between feeds, who I felt I needed less of a break from.
Hubby and the gremlin have an awesome bond, as do me and her but I do feel this stemmed from those first 6 months. He had the right attitude. He enjoyed her, cuddled her and played with her more than I did and I know it. I learnt from this and Piglet had it all. The gremlin was put down when she slept; Piglet was cuddled. The gremlin was in her own room from 6 weeks; Piglet it was much later. I wanted to enjoy her and keep her for longer.
Oh hindsight you are a wonderful thing. I wish I could go back in time and have those first 6 months with the gremlin again, knowing what I know now. I wish I could remember all the little details of her. I wish I hadn’t worried so much about routine and how I would have a clingy baby, if I cuddled her all the time. I wish I’d not stressed about her feeding all the time and I’d clung to her a little more afterwards.
I’m not beating myself up too much though. There are definite pros and cons to being both a first and second born child. She’s had me to herself for a long time and that I will be forever grateful for.
But if you are an expectant Mum reading this or have a new baby, cuddle them and try and cherish them even when you are beside yourself with tiredness, fed up of feeding and want a break. Have that break and come back to them. You can’t cuddle them too much and that teeny newborn stage is over is a second.
I adore my gremlin with every ounce of my being and our bond is so tight but it would be awesome to have been the same with her as I was with her baby sister.