In the early days and weeks after having a baby so much time is invested just being in the moment. Countless hours spent staring at your new baby and breathing in that intoxicating new baby smell. Giggling at every new facial expression. Gently tracing their features with your finger and committing it all to memory. Stroking their perfect fingers and toes.
The laundry piling up doesn’t matter (because you hardly leave the house anyway). There’s no need for cooking because you’ve got frozen lasagne loaded in the freezer. And the dishes somehow get done either by a generous visitor or husband.
But eventually, life with a baby becomes the new normal. And as well as being mum we also need to be housekeeper, cook, business owner, wife and finance manager, just to name a few. There’s washing to hang out, emails to send and mouths to feed. It can be a lot. And sometimes we can forget to slow down. Stop and smell the baby.
A few nights ago I was putting Jesse to sleep, as I do most nights, when I was struck by just how special that time with him is. I admit, sometimes it can feel like a drag as I run through my mind all the things I need to do. I can find myself wishing my 1 year old was able to put himself to sleep like I hear so many other babies do.
And suddenly I felt that little pang in my heart. I felt yet again that perhaps I’d gotten bogged down in daily life and hadn’t stopped to really soak in that moment.
So, I cuddled him a little tighter, gently rocked back and forth as I whispered ‘I love you’ and ‘mummy’s here’. I kissed his head and drew in his sweet smell. It felt good.
Now I know that I’m not always preoccupied and I definitely don’t take motherhood for granted. Most of my days are spent playing with my boy, feeding him, clothing him. I kiss him a hundred times a day and tell him I love him. I watch him learn and discover new things. I teach him things and sing songs with him. But I admit, like everyone, I sometimes become frustrated when I just need to send this email or just need to get these dishes done.
But every so often I’m reminded that maybe those other things can wait.And that sometimes, maybe I need to just stop and smell the baby.