Friday, August 9

9 Life Lessons From The Last 9 Months

Something feels particularly significant about Olivia hitting the 9 month mark and I can’t seem to put my finger on it. I feel as though it may be due to the fact that it took me 9 months to nourish her before finally meeting her back in November. Or maybe because I am subliminally working in trimesters in her first year and therefore feel as though this is particularly poignant as it’s the start of the last 3 months of her being a baby before the big 1st birthday. It honestly feels so bizarre even contemplating throwing a 1st birthday party (yet I nevertheless have already started a Pinterest board collating ideas). Anyhow, I thought that it would be lovely to sit down and write 9 things that I have learnt about becoming a mother and/or about my little O. 

1. How damned quick time goes. I seriously cannot believe how much Olivia has developed in the past nine months, from being a crying newborn in my arms at Liverpool Women’s Hospital, through to now being able to crawl after Harry. When people warned me how quick time passes when you have a baby, I ignorantly dismissed their comments and have come to the realisation that time is flying by. 

2. The joy that Olivia brings to my life is insurmountable. Of course there are many moments throughout the day that are difficult or challenging, but when I get a giggle or a smile sent my way; my heart jumps for joy. The thing that the pair of us enjoy doing together is shaking our heads at each other. She bursts with laughter whenever we do this. 

3. Increasingly I have been reflecting on how I am as a person. Although no one can reach perfection, I do find myself thinking of how I have acted or spoke more and more frequently since Olivia arrived. This is especially true as she becomes more aware of language, tone and actions. I want to be the very best version of myself and model values that I consider to be the foundations of my own life. I don’t want to preach a message to her, for her to only see my contradicting myself entirely. I understand that there will be days when she will eventually call me up on my shit and rightly so if I am acting in a contradictory manner. But as long as I am conscientious, I am sure that I can only improve and grow.

4. The beauty of playing. It is so refreshing to sit down with her and just play. I absolutely love letting my imagination run wild and see how she responds to my silly voices or the scenarios the teddy bears have when they are interacting together. 

5. The power of organisation. Olivia has not only brought immense joy to my life, but also she has spurred on the need in me to be organised across the board. If you know me personally, you will know that I am moderately tidy, but trust me; I am working on it constantly. As I am weaning Olivia at the minute I am aware of the need to have meals prepped that are wholesome so that she will be nourished with all of the vitamins and nutrients she requires.

6. Although organisation is key, so is the need to be able to quickly adapt. This is something that I am familiar with, but in a different way when it comes to teaching a class of 30 children. Firstly you need to develop the skill of having eyes in the back of your bloody head so that you are aware at all times. Also, stepping out of the house is quite literally a military operation. You need to be prepared for any type of weather, have spare clothes for the inevitable accident as well as having all of the appropriate accessories to keep little O entertained. 

7. The superpower of being able to understand a little being that can’t verbalise feelings and thoughts into spoken Standard English. A longwinded one, ironically, but an amazing skill that you develop as a mother (or father!). You are aware of what each groan, murmur and shriek means and are consequently able to act accordingly. 

8. Watching Olivia explore books. Ever since day one both Ben and I have read to her on the daily. The Book Trust charity states that reading for at least 5 minutes a day will have a massive impact on the development of a child. All-in-all we definitely read to her more than 5 minutes per day, it’s part of our life to read and enjoy stories. Olivia has clearly taken an interest in books as of late and just adores flicking through them. When I give her the book I am currently reading; ‘Normal People’ by Sally Rooney, she giggles when she opens the book because it’s so thick compared to her’s. 

9. Realising that I am a mother. This sounds very odd and it is extremely difficult to summarise this feeling in a brief sentence. It’s odd because I spend so much of my time with her that it hits me every once in a while that I am a bloody mum! I look at her and think, ‘wow, isn’t my daughter blooming amazing?!’ I feel such pride in her and am so excited to see where the future takes her and us all as a family. 

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