Monday, October 26, 2015

Becoming Mum: Everything and Nothing

Well, it's official. Thanks to the arrival of the cutest little man in the whole wide world, I am the stay-at-home-Mum that I've been dreaming of becoming all year. When I was working half a day short of full-time, I looked ahead to this life stage in wonder... what would it be like actually staying at home every day while the rest of the world works? The concept seemed wonderful, but bizarre. Now when I look back to my days of being a worker just a few short weeks ago, it feels like it was a whole other lifetime.

So, what do stay-at-home-Mums of newborns do all day? If they're anything like me - everything and nothing. Five weeks into this new life, here is what I have learned. It turns out that babies are every bit as hard work as people say they are! One day I can do dishes, bake pumpkin bread, smash out a big batch of chicken pies for the freezer, take out the trash and prep a week's worth of salads for lunches in the time between feeding, burping and playing with my little man. Other days just one tiny thing can shift, and that load of laundry I feebly threw into the washing machine as I heard the sounds of my baby starting to stir is still sitting there, unhung, hours later. There have been luxurious days where I've managed to squeeze in a morning AND an evening shower. There have been days where I've scheduled a trip to the toilet "after this feed is finished" and halfway through the next feed, I realise I never ended up going. There have been nights when I have only had to get up once, for an hour or so. There have been stretches in the middle of other nights when my baby hasn't let me put him down for hours. There have been mornings where I have had time to put together a proper cooked breakfast. There have been other mornings with cold cups of tea, and no possible chance of squeezing in breakfast before 10am.

On the days that fly by with little more to show for it than a half-emptied dishwasher, I feel like I'm failing. On the magical days when I spend the day on my feet and still have a happy, fed baby, I feel like a super hero. When I worked, I was in a routine of ticking boxes and achieving tasks to a schedule. In comparison, this life is chaos. Each day is different, but one thing never changes. This life is good. Every time I pick up my little boy from his bed and hold him to me, every time he looks up into my eyes during a feed, every time he gurgles and does his funny not-quite-there chuckle as he lays kicking on his play mat, my heart is full. I am so, so lucky. I'm already so aware of how fleeting this time is, and I'm embracing all of it.