Being a mama is filled with mushy moments, as the moment you latch eyes on your baby you’re a goner.
Even if you’re not normally an emotional person – my husband calls me “the robot” due to my lack of surface emotions and inability to cry at sad films – with a baby in tow, sometimes the smallest milestone can trigger a downpour of tears of joy. Here are the top eight moments that have turned me into a gibbering wreck over the past 12 months and I hope I’m not alone in riding the emotional rollercoaster we call mamahood. Tissues at the ready…
Bonding during breastfeeding.
When I was first getting to grips with nursing, the discomfort and sheer exhaustion of it all had me thinking I’d never learn to like it. As time went on and it got easier for the both of us, it became our special time out together. Now I love how X-Man looks at me for reassurance and watching his eyes roll back in his head as he gets his milky fix. Even though I try not to do it all the time, I like to walk my fingers up his body like Incy Wincy Spider and tickle his ear to make him giggle. It’s often the happiest moment of my day.
Reaching a new milestone.
Watching your baby learn a new skill is something that never grows old. Rolling over is one of the most significant early achievements to document, but the milestone that really brought tears to my eyes was finding X-Man standing up in his cot one morning. Seeing an upright baby after all those months of caring for a carpet cruiser was a pivotal moment. Suddenly, he looked all grown up and, as amazing as it was, I felt a wave of nostalgia when packing away the play mat.
Carrying the sleeping baby up to bed.
When you’re dealing with an energetic almost toddler, quiet time is a rare beast, which is why I often find myself counting down the minutes until X-Man’s next nap. We implement an expertly timed walk with the pram before his 10am snoozing session. A lap around the block does the trick and as soon as I see those little eyes slam shut, I pick up the pace, hurry on home, extract him from his pram and carry him upstairs to his cot. Ascending the stairs with a zonked out babe in arms gives me time to examine his perfect face and I have to restrain myself from kissing his chubby cheeks in case I wake him up.
Packing away old onesies.
Now that X-Man is almost a year old, I recently had a sort through his old clothes to decide what to keep, what to sell and what to give to charity. I couldn’t believe the size of his ‘tiny baby’ clothes – when did my little man ever fit into such teeny outfits? As you can imagine, the majority of his newborn attire ended up in the ‘keep for later’ pile.
Deciphering baby babble.
The “goo goo goos” and “gah gah gahs” are very entertaining, but when your baby starts to sharpen up his vocal skills you can start communicating on a new level. As X-Man became able to ask for mama or dada, indicate what food he wanted to eat and when he wanted to go to bed – finally mama! – it made life so much easier. Plus, finally being able to understand his little squawks and gestures and witnessing his happy response was, and continues to be, a real pleasure.
Making baby laugh.
Finding your baby’s funny bone is simply brilliant and sometimes the strangest things can make them belly laugh. X-Man liked ‘popping’ noises for a while and, rather oddly, watching us whip various objects around the house with kitchen towels. He went through the obligatory ripping up tissue paper phase, which totally cracked him up, and now he likes me running up to him and tickling him under the chin.
Looking at pictures from the newborn days.
Even though our first family pictures together were taken on a friend’s smartphone in the hospital when I was still in my tatty pyjamas and my husband hadn’t showered for two days – essentially we both look terrible – they are still wondrous to look at. Through tired eyes, we are both clearly smitten and seeing the baby’s skinny legs and tiny fingers and toes with his hospital band wrapped around his ankle reminds me what a huge achievement it is to give birth.
Getting a hug and a kiss.
After months of giving your all to your little bundle, when they finally grow old enough to show you some love it really melts the heart. X-Man can suddenly take a break from what he’s doing to wobble over, throw his arms around me and plant a sloppy kiss on my face. He quickly gets back on with what he’s doing but I like to think he’s saying “I love you, mama”.