It’s been ten weeks since I had a proper night’s sleep. Longer really because in the last month of pregnancy I was busy manoeuvering myself out of bed every half hour through the night to do a wee. I’m so so happy right now but I’m not going to lie, I feel rough. My eyes feel hot and gritty and I can feel a cold coming on.
It’s taking all my energy to just stay upright at the moment. I know I have this glazed expression on my face most of the time that would have people wonder if I’m on drugs. I’m not. I just have a baby.
And here’s the second lesson I’ve learnt since TJ was born. It’s when you feel floored that you need to big up the small stuff. Celebrate the little things. It’s a given that I’m not going to conquer Everest anytime soon. I’m pretty confident I won’t walk down the street to wolf whistles or envious head turns of other women, with my baby-sick stained shoulders and the ‘holdalls’ under my eyes. I won’t be discovering a cure to cancer or single handedly eradicating poverty in the days ahead. So if I don’t give myself a high-five for the day-to-day tiny victories then where would I be?
Because for me, breastfeeding in public with a baby who looks like he’s practising martial arts as he guzzles away – that there is my very own Everest. It’s really tough. It challenges me. It takes me way out of my comfort zone. And when I manage to do it without putting myself at risk of being arrested for indecent exposure, I feel like I can take on the world.
I am mama, hear me roar.
I remember my first day at home by myself with all three little bears. Mr C had gone back to work after two weeks paternity leave and he dropped me a text over his lunch break to see how I was getting on. My reply went something like this;
“I’m doing good! TJ slept for five minutes so I had Clover sit on our bed and watch him while I showered. I showered! I’m clean and don’t smell like baby sick!”
For a mother of a tiny baby, there is no greater achievement.
Over the last eight weeks there have been many other texts of similar ilk. I had managed to stretch the gap between feeds to 2.5 hours. I had put a load of washing on and remembered to get the clean clothes back out of the washing machine and on the line. I had cooked the girls’ dinner that didn’t involve all beige food.
Totally bigging up the small stuff. It makes a difference. It’s important.
You know why it’s so important? Because in the moment they’re not small at all. For you, right then, they’re pretty huge.
When I manage to get TJ to fall asleep in his Moses Basket I feel like I might just be able to survive motherhood of three in one piece. When he stays asleep for longer than ten minutes in the Moses Basket I feel like I’m really winning at life. Do you know how much you can actually squeeze into ten minutes when you know your baby will wake up soon? A lot, that’s how much. But not before dashing to the loo. When you have a baby everyone tells you to sleep when baby sleeps. No. You go to the loo when baby sleeps.
So wherever you’re at, celebrate the small achievements. Those moments of relief when you nailed something that took you outside your comfort zone. Whether or not it would be a doddle to the next person doesnt matter at all. This is about you, deciding to feel pretty darn good about you.
And that does matter. It matter’s a lot.
Mrs C x