Cherishing the moments
“Cherish these moments they go so quickly” is something I heard no end of when Maisie was born. It was a phrase I absolutely hated and resented . It made me feel like the worst mum, not helped by PND and the fact that love with Maisie had to grow and wasn’t instantaneous when she was born (something I still feel guilty about), probably because becoming am actual real life mum was terrifying.
Becoming a mum had been my dream since I was a child, it sounds a bit silly to some and non aspirational to others, sure I’d wanted to be a vet or an actress but above all what I really wanted was to be a mum, then when I became one it was so exhausting and terrifying with our broken baby who wouldn’t stop crying and threw up loads (also terrifying) because she had reflux. Plus because she’s the first you have so much time and focus on them, you’re always encouraging them onto that new exciting stage. I did cherish the moments with Maisie, especially when we got out of that horrible newborn phase and got her onto reflux milk, I cherished it more but was so focused on the next stage with her, until when she was 8 months old and I realised I’d missed so much of the little baby part moving onto the next stage and wouldn’t she be an amazing big sister if we had another, and if we started trying now it would probably be a while until we fell pregnant again…..
…..Enter Luna just over 9 months later, another 9 months of probably not cherishing enough because I was just trying to survive being pregnant and I wanted Maisie to do more for herself so I could lay down with my sick bowl and cry about what a terrible mum I am .
The thing with second/subsequent babies is that you’ve done it, you’ve got a taste of how hard and tiring it is (granted not with more than one but you’ve factored that in). You know some of the mistakes you’ve made previously. When Luna was born she came straight to my chest and stayed there, even as I climbed out the pool everyone helped me keep her to me, she fed from me while a gaggle of midwives did a nice embroidery project on my nether regions. She stayed with me most of the time for the first few days and weeks .I didn’t care about others not getting a hold if she needed me or vice versa, I knew the signs of reflux and we sorted that early. Of course it was still hard and I definitely didn’t treasure all of it, especially in the newborn days but it’s different, maybe that is fed by the fact John and I have said no more? I mean we would both love more but financially we could afford another, physically and mentally another pregnancy would break me etc. So when he tells me I’m spoiling her by picking her up when she calls out for a “cuggle” when she’s in the puschair I tell him to shove off (unless I’m broken and too tired) and I pick her up and breathe her in. The same as when she won’t settle at night or wakes up and she just needs so snuggle into mama to sleep, I will breathe it in and cherish it because I know it won’t last, Maisie is already so independent and big at 2.5, most the time if she wakes in the night she’d prefer to be in her own bed than sleep and cuddle mummy. They’re both different too, Maisie is a daddy’s girl (although these days she tells me I’m her bestest friend and daddy is just her best friend 😂) and Luna is definitely a mummy’s girl.
I sat tonight holding Luna when she wouldn’t settle as she snuggled into me, winding one hand under my dress neckline so she could feel my skin and drift off and it all made me so sad and feel like crying because this won’t last forever. I know from Maisie that it won’t be forever.
Why is it that with your second child you kind of realise how quickly time goes and you don’t want them to do things too quickly so you can breathe in their littleness yet if they’re anything like Luna they will just do everything earlier than their sibling, which makes me so happy to see but also so sad as my baby melts away and then my toddler will be a child and so on .
I thought as Luna was so advanced physically she would be behind verbally but she’s talking so much, I mean there’s a lot of baby babble but she says so much too, she’s even started copying Maisie and counting to 10 and whilst I’m obviously super proud and it’s so lovely I just want to tell her to stop. Stop growing so fast because I just want to inhale your innocence. Before long I’m going to have two little sassbots talking back to me and I’m not sure I’m ready for that, although I don’t have much of a choice in the matter.
Finally there’s the mum guilt with all of it, the feeling of “oh I should’ve cherished more with Maisie, why did I want her to do so much?!” Then the guilt that maybe you’re not doing enough with the second child because there’s already one child to entertain and also they need to slow it the heck down and be your baby.
The very worst part of all of this is that I feel I’m becoming one of those mum’s who will say to the first time mum “cherish it, it goes so quickly”. I’ve stopped myself a few times but it’s going to happen soon and then I’ll feel even more guilt, but I guess the circle of cherish/guilt must continue eh?