Yeah I know, that sounds so old. And yes I do remember listening to my Mum when I was younger saying something similar and thinking-
"Yeah, all older people say that, everyone knows time doesn't *really* go that fast!"But believe me it does.
Seventeen years ago tomorrow I made my way to The Rosie Maternity Hospital in Cambridge for the biggest, most life changing moment in my twenty four years. It was a pretty horrendous twenty four hours, but worth every minute. No really. On November 9th 1997 I became a mother, a Mummy, and took on the best job in the world.
I got lucky too. Seriously lucky. Apart from that first night (which he spent screaming his head off) my eldest is the most easy going, laid back child. No baptism by fire for me - and I blame him totally for the fact that I went on to have three more children as my first experience of motherhood with him was such a straitforward one.
There was the teensy little factor of being a single parent for most of his first year, juggling a full time job and motherhood, paying the mortgage alone and dealing with pretty awful infant reflux for the first time..... but that was a walk in the park compared to what came later. I am always grateful for those early years since becoming a parent is always a little bit of a shock for the most experienced newbie, and although I probably had far more experience than most there is more to motherhood than changing nappies and establishing routines.
I learned to survive on three hours sleep (which has stood me in good stead since) learned that nothing lasts forever (thank God that biting phase was short lived!) Learned that no book, advice or well-intentioned tip can replace your maternal instinct, and that being a mother is the most fulfilling role in the world.
I am indescribably proud of the well-rounded, empathetic, sensible, reliable, diligent, caring and motivated young man he has become. And not a little bit sad that it's all flying by too fast. I barely blink and another year has passed, another milestone and another step nearer to the day he flies the nest.
I spent my whole life to the age of 24 focussed on my one aim for the future - to become a mum. Not for me the high powered city job, my life plans had to centre on children and family and I've been incredibly fortunate this has been possible - most of the time.
My brother is just about to start on the journey that is becoming a parent and I wish him all the best:- all the highs, the lows, the thrills, the sleepless nights, the exhilaration, the worry, the pride and the overwhelming feeling of love.
Would I offer him and his partner any advice? Maybe just this. When you are pacing the floor at 3am with an inconsolable four month old - pause and take a moment to really digest the fact that you will blink, and your tiny babe will be holding a provisional driving license. A sobering thought indeed.
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