Fuck me, that flew by didn’t it?
Last week baby (HOW LONG CAN I EVEN CALL HIM THAT FOR FFS) Atticus turned six entire months old.
Bit confused as to how it’s been half a year since I deliriously held him in my arms for the first time whilst going ‘OMG HIS BUM IS SO SOFT’ over and over again.
I like that I didn’t cry or have emotional outpourings of love for this creature who had been growing inside me for nine months, instead I was more interested in what bum moisturiser he’d been using whilst lodged in there. Sure, sure.
Anyway, I thought now would probably be a nice time for a lil parenting update post and a chance to check in with you all.
So yeah… here goes.
Today I have had three ‘am I going to do a cry or nah?’ twinges, because motherhood is seemingly more of a rollercoaster than ever.
The first one was at morning nap time when Atti was crying and wouldn’t settle and it seemed to go on for approximately 78 hours (read: about 20 minutes) and lord almighty this is hard. The second one was when I was pushing him around H&M with a £4 baby cardigan in my hand in age 9-12 months and I was all like OMG HE’S GROWING UP SO FAST AND I CAN’T HANDLE IT. And the third time was just now as I was typing away and answering emails and drinking coffee and thinking fuck me life has turned out well and hashtag blessed.
So I mean, if that combo doesn’t describe parenting I don’t know what does.
But I think overall it’s got a little bit easier in the last couple of weeks.
Atti slept for a 7-hour stint last night for the first time ever (in his own room because he is apparently a teenager now) and I am still riding on a high from all the additional sleep.
We’ve ditched his Sleepyhead and started him on solids and it feels like he is an actual person rather than an odd little animal.
I’ve started trying to work out his personality too. I think he is confident and determined. I think he is a people-person. A chatterbox. Maybe a bit stubborn. I think he takes after me.
He is happiest when he’s on the go or surrounded by people. When there is plenty to occupy him and keep him enthralled. When he can take in his environment and gain from it – I guess maybe he’s a baby extrovert.
He giggles more and shows off the biggest grins and it feels like there’s so much more to get from him then there was a few months back. Like, it’s more rewarding and it’s more of a two-way relationship rather than just me gushing at him with no response. I feel like he’s starting to understand the world just the teeniest tiniest bit and it’s bloody lovely.
But then there is the other side of things. I guess the elephant in the room.
And that is the fact that I am desperate to immerse myself in work.
And that desperation is leading me to the most intense, hideous, overwhelming bouts of guilt.
I want to want to be around my son twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, I don’t want to crave sitting alone with coffee and my laptop, and yet I do.
It’s not that I want to return full-time to how things were before he was born, it’s that because I am self-employed, there is no end date to maternity leave and that terrifies me. I need to somehow negotiate and work out a new kind of normal.
It only occurred to me when I was about eight months pregnant that I was actually about to become a stay-at-home mum who worked as a cute hobby on the side.
And whilst I would put my family before my career over and over again, I am just not ready to let go of the working world entirely.
So I guess now, as life has settled down as much as it ever does after having a baby in the sense that I am now semi-confidently winging it rather than nervously winging it, I need to set aside some mental energy to think about how I want life to look in the long run.
I need to work out how much time I want to set aside for work and when I want to set it aside and how I will sort the childcare.
And obviously every time you think HUZZAH BY JOLLY I HAVE A PLAN you then end up second guessing yourself because omg no actually what if this will scar my child for life and what if he doesn’t feel loved and yes ok attachment parenting is me and I will wear him in a carrier and take him everywhere with me until he is 18 and yes that’s for sure for the best.
So whilst the whole actually looking after a small version of yourself thing seems to have become about 10% easier in recent weeks it means that it’s finally time to attempt to work out some vague game plan for the rest of my life (or y’know, the year or next 18 months or OH LORD I HAVE NO IDEA) and that is the stressful part.
Now if someone could pour me a nice glass of red to take the edge off, that would be just abso-fucking-lutely delightful.