It’s a lie. There, I said it. I don’t want to depress any new mums out there that are waiting and waiting for ‘it to get easier’, but I really feel like it’s gotten harder.
In the beginning, the sleep deprivation, the responsibility and the sheer emotional and physical shock of having a baby is seriously overwhelming. So when people say “it gets easier”, they do mean it. They mean that soon you will learn how to cope with sleep deprivation (or perhaps your baby will start to sleep better), they mean you will soon get something back for all the effort you put in, a smile or a giggle, and they also mean soon you won’t worry so much, you will get to know your baby and know how to read him or her and deal with each situation.
Annabelle is now 9.5 months old and I have found the last two weeks much harder than I found the newborn stage. I feel I should add a disclaimer here; I am a baby person. Every mother is different, some like the newborn stage, some the mobile stage and some the toddler stage. For me, it’s all about the newborns. I enjoyed that stage, I enjoyed being able to lay her on the sofa whilst I nipped to the loo and know that she would be there when I came back. I enjoyed that all I had to do to nourish her was provide milk. I enjoyed that she slept so much, even if it was disrupted. Now, however, she is everywhere. I can’t sit for 2 seconds without having to get up and chase her. If I am not chasing her, I am pulling things out of her mouth. The other day she actually had a stone in her mouth! I must have turned my back for 3 seconds only. I honestly don’t get to the loo in the day!
I also find it such a chore to think about what to cook all the time. Most of the time she has our leftovers, but anyone that knows me well will know there are rarely any substantial leftovers. I am lucky that she eats well and enjoys her mealtimes, but by 10am every morning I am rummaging through the freezer in the hope I still have something in there for her lunch and supper. Now she needs less sleep too, perhaps 2-3 hours in the day. This means that I get less time to get anything done. I’m also starting to think that maybe she has a monitor on me; I think I heard Mum open her computer, cue “wah wah wah”, I think I heard Mum nip to the loo, cue “wah wah wah”, is that Mum trying to take a nap, we can’t have that “wah wah wah”. She definitely knows what I am up to!
All that being said there are a huge number of positives to this age or stage. The obvious one is the full nights sleep (sleep regression aside). But the smiles, the giggles, the cheeky chuckle as she scampers into the kitchen wanting me to chase her, the babbling and chatting, the gummy yoghurt covered grins. I love it all, I do. A friend told me this week that a study was done on mothers and their time spent in the day. Apparently every mother said they were happiest when doing chores over childcare, but when they reviewed their day they were happiest talking about their child and of course the washing up or laundry didn’t enter the conversation. We should remember how lucky we are to have our little cherubs, and enjoy every moment. Even the incessant chasing up and the down the house!