Sometimes when parenting a baby, it’s the little things that can make you happy. Here are some of the things that give me joy these days.
On Sundays, I get to sleep in. Until at least 7am. Because my husband is not riding his bike or working and he is able to help out. He has to get up early anyway to do some more work stuff from home which sucks but he has no choice and he gets it done. I also get to shower without being screamed at by a very small human. You see, during the week I am not one of those mums who doesn’t shower for 4 days (I’m not judging – I just wish more new mums knew it’s OK to put yourself first for 5 minutes a day). I will shower each morning NO MATTER WHAT because I’m selfish like that haha. I will wheel the Little Miss right up the shower in her pram and spend my shower making stupid faces at her to keep her happy and put a soapy hand on the pram and rock it if her bottom lip starts to drop. Sometimes I will sing a loosely themed song to her if I’m desperate enough. Like adapting TLC’s Scrubs to being about scrubbing yourself in the shower haha. I will speed through my cleaning process and no matter what I do, she’ll be BAWLING 3/4 of the way through. No matter how much I improve on my personal best, she knows to complain before I’m done. By the time I’m drying myself as fast as the speed of light and fumbling to put my underwear on (like I’m trying to defuse a bomb), she can often be screaming. It’s not because I don’t care for her comfort and wellbeing. I don’t want her to get distressed. But I know she won’t be traumatised if I take 2 minutes longer than she wants me to and as long as she is breathing well, in a safe position and not completely losing the plot, I take care of my personal hygiene. I pick her up and soothe her as soon as I can and I think that’s good enough.
BUT…Sundays. Oh, glorious Sundays. I get to shower alone. In peace. No racing the clock. It’s bloody brilliant.
Driving my car alone
Whether it’s on a rare evening out with friends or maybe a Sunday excursion to the supermarket, I don’t care. If I can play my music as loud as I want and drive without worrying about how long it will be until the Little Miss needs something, or whether it’s a good idea if she falls asleep or doesn’t fall asleep or is due for a feed or will melt down for some other reason, then life is good! For just a second I pretend that I’m still cool. You know. In my station wagon, the one with the baby seat and the booster seat in it. Even though I’m singing along to music that is tragically 90s and everyone can see.
When the Little Miss gets through a day without becoming a dribbly, stinky mess
Obviously that’s just what babies this age tend to do. There’s some stinky spit up that can ruin an outfit or two. There’s a weird sweatiness that happens on a moderately warm day. There’s the drool that is often soaked up on a trendy bandana bib (can you believe these were hardly in existence when the Little Mister was small?!) but it is still gross anyway.
On the rare days when the dribble is under control and the Little Miss keeps all her milk completely down and everything smells sweet – a mixture of baby lotion and butter (I swear the top of her head smells like butter on good days – it’s delicious), it’s just glorious. It’s an extra bonus if you’re out in public and you can pretend she’s that sweet all the time and show off her cute, not ruined outfits haha.
When we nail the timing of everything
OK, so as parents we absolutely cannot take credit for this. It’s up to the baby. But on those days where her sleeps and feeds miraculously line up for a dream situation (especially leading into the night time routine), it’s like magic. When everything matches the school runs and I don’t have to sit and feed her in a car park just to get her home. When I don’t have to wake her to pick up the Little Mister. When she happens to have a nice sleep while I try to have something to eat. When it’s like she senses that I’m a broken woman and is the sweetest child ever for the day. You get the gist. Those moments are WONDERFUL.
Realising that there are so many more helpful baby products on the market now than there were the first time around
There’s a 6 year age gap between our two and it’s been amazing starting all over again with the baby thing this year. Everything you thought you’d forgotten comes flooding back all of a sudden. It’s amazing how easily you get back into the zone. Using a lot of what I learned through trial and error last time has been great. Things like knowing what those little envelope sleeves on the onesies are for (hello – you can pull the whole outfit DOWN over your baby when there’s a poo explosion) and that the button up onesies look cute but you will not think they’re cute at all in the middle of the night. The double zip systems on long onesies? Genius. Other times I feel like a dork because I am much like a fumbling first time mum at the same time. So much has stayed the same but one cool thing has been discovering that fantastic people have invented awesome products that weren’t around (or as easily available) when the Little Mister was small. Like toddlertints (not sponsored – just grateful they exist on sunny days) for the car windows and cute little dribble bibs that don’t wreck the look of your baby’s outfit – you can get ones that match OMG – and don’t get in the way when you’re not feeding them. There are heaps of other items that my baby brain can’t remember right off the top of my head, but I’ve had some great a-ha moments. The smallest things can make a world of difference. There are items I would have had to travel to a specialty baby store to buy in the past, now stocked in supermarkets and Target and Kmart etc. It’s fabulous!
What has been making you happy this week (does not have to be baby related at all)? Do you have more than one child – what was the experience like with your second (or subsequent) baby?