A first birthday is a momentous occasion. It means your baby is well on his way to toddlerhood, and you have made it through the first year. Not only that, it’s your first birthday as a mamma too! Check out this gorgeous clip after you read this article, but make sure you have a Kleenex nearby.
You may find yourself feeling quite emotional as this milestone approaches, as you come to terms with the fact that your wrinkled little newborn is about to be a one year old. All of a sudden, his life is playing in fast forward before your very eyes, and you can see yourself packing him off to university in no time at all.
Don’t worry, it’s totally normal to feel a variety of contradicting emotions as you approach the very first birthday of your child. In fact, pretty much every mother finds herself thinking the following thoughts as that big day looms into view:
#1: There Must Be Some Kind Of Mistake
It just can’t be a whole year already, can it? Really? Surely not. It feels like only yesterday when you held him in your arms for the very first time. And yet, at the same time, you can’t quite remember life without him. It’s hard to imagine there was ever a time when he wasn’t in your arms.
#2: Remember When…?
As that first birthday approaches, all the memories will push their way to the front of your mind. You’ll find yourself staying up late watching baby videos on your phone. You will spend hours watching and rewatching the video of your tiny newborn suffering from a serious case of the hiccups. You will fill your partner’s inbox with at least 30 unsolicited emails a day for at least a month, each featuring your current favourite baby photograph from the past year.
#3: I Survived…
As you think back across everything the last year has thrown at you – mostly bodily fluids – it can be almost hard to believe you’ve made it this far. You survived the sleep deprivation, the sore-to-the-point-of-raw nipples, the teething, the separation anxiety and the new mother fear, and now you’re here, one year older and wiser, and still going strong.
#4: … And So Did The Baby!
Even more impressive than your own survival, is the fact that your baby has too. He battled through all the mistakes you made in the early days, and is here to tell the tale. He persevered through the shame of being seen out in public with his baby gro on back to front, survived the accidental bump to the head that day when you threw him a little too high in the air, and generally remained patient and without judgement during all of your parenting mishaps. And he made it to his first birthday with just the odd bruise, bump and graze.
#5: He’s So Grown Up
All of a sudden it seems like time is slipping away from you, the years are like grains of sand disappearing through your fingers as you try to cling on for dear life. Your little baby suddenly seems very grown up. He is looking a little less babyfaced, and his actions are becoming ever more deliberate. As you watch him from across the room and notice that he glances back less often now, as he grows more dependent. It’s almost terrifying.
#6: He’s Still My Little Baby
Just as you are working out exactly what you’ll do with his bedroom when he moves out (sewing room? Home gym? Perhaps an office?) which feels like it could be any day, he will transform back into a baby before your very eyes. He might fall over, or come face to face with a dreaded ‘older child’ and will soon be back on your knee, holding your hand, and reminding you that you are very much still needed. And that it will be years until you get that sewing room.
#7: Maybe It’s Time For Another?
As your start the long and arduous task of counting out candles for the birthday cake, you might find yourself wondering whether it’s time for another baby. Now that yours is all grown up and leaving home (pretty much), should you start thinking about filling up that (actually not at all) empty nest?
#8: Uh Oh, The Terrible Twos Are Coming
As you reflect on how quickly the past year has disappeared, it will dawn on you that the terrible twos are just around the corner. And this will fill you with dread because, well, it’s not an ironic title. Not that all two year olds are terrible, yours will probably be lovely. Most of the time.
#9: One Year Ago Right Now… Ouch!
There are few stories more exciting than those about birth. Birth stories have drama, gore, love, fear and strength. For the first few weeks after the birth you probably yapped away to anyone foolish enough to listen to the tale of how your little one entered the world. Well, now that it’s your official giving birth anniversary, you are well within your rights to start shouting it from the rooftops again. And when that one year anniversary arrives, you’ll probably be reminded of just how overwhelming and emotional the birth was, and find yourself taken back to that first meeting with the love of your life.
#10: I’m Doing Ok
Over the past year you’ve probably had a few niggles where you’ve wondered if you are really cut out for motherhood. On the days of grouchy babies, separation anxiety and sheer exhaustion, it’s all too easy to put a dent in your confidence. You start to worry about the mistakes you’ve made (they were tiny, though they seem huge when you’re having a bad day), and find yourself fixating on regrets. But, as you look back over the past year, it’s undeniable that you’re doing a pretty amazing job. You have a beautiful, happy baby who clearly loves you, so you can’t be doing all that bad now, can you?