To my beautiful “last baby” on your first birthday
I write this letter a few days before you turn one, it’s hard to believe that a whole year has gone by with you in our lives. It has gone so fast and yet at the same time it feels like yesterday that I held you for the first time.
Calling you my last baby is quite significant; partly because I thought your older sister was my last but two years after she graced us with her presence you came along. The difference is you REALLY ARE the last one! No matter how many times people say to me “are you going to have anymore?” or “are you going to try for a boy next?” we won’t, I am sorry to say but you are stuck with the baby label forever! Just like your eldest sister will always be my big girl regardless of how grown up you get or what you do with your life I will never stop referring to you as my baby, (I apologise in advance for this)!
There is something about your first birthday that brings a little sadness to my heart though. I don’t know why exactly I feel this way, I can’t remember feeling it with your older sisters. When the big girl turned one, I was excited; I couldn’t wait for her to grow up. I had so many plans I couldn’t wait for her to sleep in, to talk, to sing, to dance, to read to me, to watch a film with me, to count, to tell me stories, to go into a big bed, to ride a bike, to push her-self on the swings, to climb to jump… the list is endless. Now she can do all those things yet I daydream about her baby days. Life seemed so much simpler back then (if only I’d known it at the time).
This is where being your mother gives me an advantage though. This time, I know how quick it goes, I have learnt that no matter how tired I get or frustrated at a particular “phase” you’re going through time keeps moving and it will pass. The problem is that the same is also true for the happy times. Knowing for sure that you are my last baby makes me savour every moment more, both good and bad. I try to hold on to every toothless smile and every infectious giggle. I inhale your baby smell mindfully as if it’s the last scent I will ever experience.
Currently you are just a few tentative steps away from toddling and as exciting as it is to watch you grow and learn, everything new you do leaves me feeling a tinge of grief for that baby I will never have again. Despite my desire we cannot stop time, instead I will just continue to be amazed by your boundless energy, cheeky attitude and fearless enthusiasm for life.
Don’t get me wrong looking after you and your two sisters can be hard work and physically draining, there are certainly days I feel like pulling a sickie or leaving the house without an argument over lost shoes. Sometimes I crave alone time or simply a night without you stuck to my boob but I remind myself that this doesn’t last forever When you are all grown up and gone I will have plenty of alone time, at this point probably long for the madness of these days again.
As you turn one it’s natural to reflect on the past year, it’s curious to me that despite bringing a whole load of new craziness to the family as all babies do, you also brought me a level of peace and acceptance of motherhood I didn’t have before.
You taught me that although life doesn’t always go to plan it does have a way of working out. I remember the weekend I found out I was pregnant with you, I went from joy to panic and back again for 48 hours straight (who am I kidding I did that for months). I worried about everything from my health in pregnancy to how on earth I was going to cope with 3. I would lie awake in the middle of the night gripped by pregnancy insomnia trying to run through a hypothetical day in my head, working out a schedule of how I was going to physically manage. I also worried about how your sisters were going to handle it and I wondered how would I give them the time they deserved with a baby in the house.
The moment you were born these worries seemed to melt away, I still have moments of panic, but I had a twinkling of clarity as I held you in my arms, that first day it just all seemed obvious. Of course I was going to cope, not all at once but one day at a time. After a potentially difficult but beautiful birth you taught me that anything was possible. Life may not always give us what we think we want but if we allow it, we certainly get what we need.
I needed you.
Happy first birthday to my very last baby, thank you for being you.
Love from mum xxxx
The contented Family offers one to one coaching and workshops to empower parents to take back control of their emotions. Stop reacting to your children’s behaviour or any other uncontrollable condition and learn practical mindful tools and techniques which you can use in the everyday madness of motherhood.
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