Being a mum is a huge responsibility. You think about it before you have a baby and then while you’re pregnant but nothing can prepare you for how huge every decision feels when you are responsible for someone else’s life.
You go through life, trying to watch your weight, eating healthy when you remember and occasionally going walking as a token gesture to exercise. You’ve made it 30 years and managed to keep yourself alive. I’ve even managed to keep two cats alive so far. How hard can looking after a baby be?!
When he finally arrived, it didn’t seem that hard at all. He slept most of the time, woke up to be fed and cuddled to sleep and it was a lovely time. Even though I’d had a c-section we went out occasionally as a family, gentle walks, coffee shops, excessive visits to Mothercare and our world felt complete.
Then my husband went back to work. I was all alone with a tiny baby. One of the first days alone I changed his dirty nappy and he weed on me straight away, then threw up on himself. I didn’t know where to start and, while it all seems silly now, I had a moment of panic wondering how I could do this and I cried.
Things got a bit easier after that again for a while and I became braver and started venturing out of the house more.
Now, he is nearly six months old and responsibility is growing and I have to make choices, hopefully the right ones, much more often. When he is crying, even after I have changed, fed and cuddled, I question whether to give Calpol. Is he in pain? Is something wrong with him? I agonise over the decision and when I decide to give him the medicine, feel like a terrible parent ‘drugging my child’. I quickly Google the effects of giving too much Calpol and see horror stories about those that have overdosed babies on it, used it to get them to sleep or long term side effects of using it. However, he has stopped crying and at least, for now, it seems like I made the right choice for us.
Other decisions come in the shape of Feeding. Breast or bottle? Napping. Too much? Not enough? When to start weaning and then wondering if it was too soon.
You are suddenly faced with a variety of decisions and you just muddle through, hoping that along the way you have made the right one most of the time.
Guilt and worry are a large aspect of being a mum but it seems that this is just part of the deal.
However, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I cannot imagine my life without him now and all these choices and responsibility give me a gorgeous, mostly happy, little boy. He is gaining weight well, sleeps when he needs to, laughs and giggles and seems to be doing well, as far as babies go. I am doing alright so far.
No one can make him smile like me. He may smile at others but I have a special smile that he saves for mummy. I know which songs he likes and my heart fills when he laughs at my singing and actions. I cry for different reasons now; with the unbelievable amount of love I have for him. When he smiles at me and pulls me in to suck on my face, I could burst with love for him. All the worries, guilt and fears disappear. It is just me, and him and the love and bond we share. I am everything to him as he is to me.
I know that life will continue to bring us options and I will no doubt agonise over them, researching every possible choice but I will face each one as they come and try to feel like I have done my best for my boy.
Being someone’s world is huge but it is also the most amazing thing in the world.