Babyhood: This is Just For Now

Photography: Mel Muller

By Sarah-Rose Bowles

It’s 11 pm and my baby is finally asleep. I’m exhausted but I’m reading yet another article about infant sleep. When suddenly I had a light bulb moment…

These sleepless nights, the grizzles that never seem to end and the leaking poonami nappies. These things are not for the rest of my life – this is just for a brief moment in time in my parenting journey.

It was in that moment of frantic Googling ‘Why does my baby scream when I put him in bed?’, that I had suddenly realised I need to become more present.

I want to be the kind of mum who experiences every aspect of motherhood not just let it wash over me. I want to truly experience the emotions and absorb them. I want to be able to say I didn’t just “get through that phase” but instead I experienced that and I learned from it. I want to slow down with my baby and sensitively observe him. I want to learn from his cries and be there whenever he needs me.

Some days it feels like it will never end and I’m going to turn into the crazy, shushing, bouncing lady.

Unfortunately this is challenging beyond belief right now, because I’m currently in a difficult phase of sleepless nights, endless bouncing and shushing! Some days it feels like it will never end and I’m going to turn into the crazy, shushing, bouncing lady.

It’s in those moments that I have to tell myself “this is just for now”. What I’ve realised is that this is not the rest of my life, this is just a moment in time. OK, so it’s a trying and exhausting moment in time, but ultimately my sweet baby boy is not going to be this little forever. In fact, he is only going to be this age and this little once in his entire life and once in mine. So why am I wishing it away? Why am I wishing away those snoozey-milky cuddles, those lullabies on repeat and wishing away my baby’s babyhood?

See page 2 for the rest…

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