Sure, the early days can be tiring and relentless, but we mustn’t forget about the one thing that makes it all worth it – basically how freaking awesome your baby is. When you’re bogged down in feeds and nappy changes, look out for the little moments you’ll cherish forever. Cheesy? Sure. But having a baby seems to bring out the cheese in us…
1. The first time they smile or laugh
Newborn babies are cute, but a little bit blank – it can be a while before you feel like you get very much back from them. The first time they smile, you might dismiss it as wind, but soon you realise they’re smiling because you’re smiling, or laughing because you’re making funny faces, and it is the best feeling in the actual whole wide world. Good luck trying to get it on camera though. They’re changeable little buggers.
2. The first time someone you love holds them
Whether it’s your partner, your mum or one of your dearest friends, seeing your brilliant baby in the arms of someone you love can be a big old gooey moment. In fact, you’ll be so utterly consumed with taking in the beautiful sight that you might even forget that this is your big chance to go and do a wee/have a shower/eat your lunch two-handed.
3. The first time a stranger says something nice
We dismiss strangers when they make unhelpful comments, but when they say something nice – perhaps how beautiful your baby is, or how well-behaved they are, or just what a lovely cardigan they’re wearing – it’s a whole different story and can make our whole day. If you’re feeling low and need a little boost, hang around where there are lots of clucky old ladies and this might even become a regular occurrence.
4. The first time you’re called mum
We don’t mean when the baby itself calls you mum – that’s many, many months away – but the first time you’re referred to in public as their mum, usually by some kind of health official. It’s a strange identity shift and might even freak you out a bit, but it will make you feel all tingly too – likewise, the first time you refer to them as your child. Using the words “my son” or “my daughter” still feels awfully grown up though – we find “my little boy” far easier to say while just about keeping a straight face.
5. The first time you feel like you’ve done a good job
Whether it’s a seamless nappy change or a shopping trip that went without incident, those little “I’ve got this!” moments early on, no matter how fleeting or infrequent they are, are worth holding onto. When your pre-baby life involved giving dead important presentations or defending murderers or transplanting kidneys, you’ll feel silly to be giving yourself a pat on the back for performing such mundane tasks, but it’s really important to acknowledge that you’re doing a decent job of this whole mum thing.