I do not want to jinx it (I am tapping my knuckle on wood as I am typing this), but things seem to be good?
Not just like I am making it through entire days and weeks without sobbing into odd baby socks on the living room floor good, but like actually, maybe, really good?
Atti has been at nursery for six weeks now. He does two morning sessions a week, and the days he’s not at nursery he spends a couple of hours with his nanny (grandparent – not hired staff) in the afternoon once she’s finished work.
Which now means that every single day of the week I have time to myself. Time to check in with emails, time to write, time to take outfit photos for social media, time to work and time to b r e a t h e.
Time to put the washing away and take the recycling out and wipe down the high chair.
And it’s fucking lovely.
I guess you could say I am fully back from maternity leave. I am living in my new normal.
I feel like I have become a better parent for it too. We spend lazy afternoons exploring the house together (am about to run to Sainsbury’s for Deep Heat because fuck me this neck and shoulder pain from permanently being crouched over walking him from one end of the house to the other is excruciating), and mornings at soft play with friends or on coffee dates where he mostly just gets to throw buttery toast on the floor.
I even get to spend somewhere between one and two hours a week playing Two Point Hospital on my laptop and drinking tea and utterly switching off from society and it is HEAVEN. Can you imagine? A child under one AND a computer game? Wild.
I am still tired, but I assume I will now feel this way until I die.
But I am emerging from the baby haze and I am recognising myself.
It is hard in those early weeks, in those first days where you get home from the hospital and you have this tiny pink creature to look after. It is hard to ever imagine a life that isn’t all consuming, that isn’t so full-on you feel like you are about to topple over your limit, never to rise again.
But there is a normality in the future. There is contentment. There is a life where having a child is just part of you and not all of you.
I always freak out slightly about writing anything personal about motherhood on the internet – which I know seems laughable considering I’ve pressed live on a fair few blog posts since Atti arrived at the start of the year, but there is no greater fear than someone calling you a bad mother.
I am incredibly lucky to be in a situation where we can afford a few nursery sessions to allow me to work at the same time, and even more lucky to have a grandparent who wants to be so hands on and help us wherever needed.
But in the same breath, there have been moments and situations that I wished could have been better or easier.
I’ve wished my oldest and closest friends could have been less than a hundred miles away. That there were more friendly faces both back in January and now to just swing in for a cup of tea and a biscuit. I wish my brother and sister were local, my dad and step mum too.
I wish I’d had my own mum to lean on – both physically and emotionally.
But if there is one thing I have learned recently, it is just how important it is to make the most of what we do have – rather than dwell on what we don’t have.
Life isn’t fair and there will always be details we wish we could change, but there are always choices and options, and it is how we utilise these that make the difference.
I am happy and I think my son is too.
And really, is there anything else that matters?
So for now I am relishing in this period of feeling like I can manage everything, where things are smooth but not polished to perfection, and life feels the way it was always supposed to.
Because everything could topple tomorrow, and I need to know I appreciated the good when it was right before my eyes.