I’m meeting up later with two old friends. One is a long time college friend and doting mum to a 14 month old boy, the other is an old college friend and wife of an even older college friend, who’s expecting their first baby in a few weeks. So we’re coming to a point where we’ve known each other nearly 15 years and have been through it all…well, all the stuff that happens in late teens, twenties and early thirties…. We are super excited for them and decided we had to have a girlie meet up before the big event to give her some advice, re-assurance, etc. Which is what prompted this post.
So, what am I going to tell her? There’s the stuff that most people tell you – like, ‘leave your dignity at the door’ etc. Which is true. I think she’ll be ok with that. She was never an overly ‘private’ person. Just as well.
I think a lot of the advice given relates to the actual days in hospital, which is fine, but doesn’t really prepare you for the fallout when you get home. Both of my children were quite good in hospital in terms of sleeping and feeding. Eilis continued to be good (which is just as well, because I was recovering….very badly…from the C-section). Grace was not so good, and stayed a ‘difficult’ baby, until she was at least 6 or 7 months. Maybe it was the solid food, maybe it was the fact I had to go back to work, maybe she just grew out of it; I’m not sure what improved her, but it’s all NORMAL. They won’t all be perfect sleepers, eaters, etc, but that’s ok. You just need to be able to cope with it.
My advice to the mother of the 14 month old was to repeat over and over, when times get tough – ‘this too shall pass’. And it does. But it’s awful at the time. And you’re wrecked. And you’re crabby. And you think no-one else must ever have gone through this….or why would they have more kids! But the good outweighs the bad. For sure. And it does pass. And they do eventually sleep the night….eventually….. and at worst, they will most likely move out when they are 18, and then you can definitely get a full night’s sleep!
And sometimes I wonder if I should be comparing my children as babies. Is it fair to say that Grace was such a bad baby? Will it have repercussions on her future personality? Maybe? But it’s true. And I like to dwell on it a little, because it makes me remember that no matter how bad it might have been, and how wrecked and cross and depressed and tired I was – it was all worth it. It passed. And no doubt we will have more trials along the way, and they will pass too. And it will be worth it.