Seize the newborn days, they’ll be gone before you know it

13 Aug

We have a nostalgic blog post from Ursula Hirschkorn, who writes the fab Four Down Mum to Go blog, all about her adventures raising four boys.  Yes, you read correctly, 4 boys! She very rightly points out how quickly those little babies become toddlers, who then become bigger and bigger children! She encourages you to take advantage of the newborn days and treasure them…

Seize the newborn days

Recently, whilst idly browsing on Facebook I stumbled across a video made by a French midwife to promote her method of calmly bathing a newborn baby [http://youtu.be/l0MoXxkHKjs].  As none of my children are babies anymore I am not sure what prompted me to click on the link, but as I watched her gently cradle a tiny baby, still partly scrunched into the foetal position, I felt tears begin to prick behind my eyes.

Seeing this tiny child soothingly placed into a warm bath roused a strong sense of nostalgia within me. Now that my youngest twin boys are strapping little lads of five the baby years seem so long ago. As they rush around the garden, their growing limbs toasted golden in the sunshine, screaming as water from the hose douses them with an unexpected shower of cold water, it is hard to take myself back to those months when I ended every day by carefully lowering them into a baby bath.

giving baby a bath bedtime routine

As the midwife stroked the down-like hair on the baby’s head, I could almost feel the fragile curve of my baby boys’ heads resting in my own palm as I dribbled warm water over their golden curls. While now bath time is something they can accomplish all by themselves, back then it was a time to hold my little one close, to cuddle him up in a fluffy towel, to stroke cream into his silken soft limbs and drink in that special essence of clean baby.

I know that at the time I wasn’t conscious of storing up these precious memories. In fact, while bath time had the potential to be a calm and soothing time, often it was rushed and resulted in a flooded bathroom floor and fractious mother and child, coming as it did at the end of a long day of parenting a small baby.

It is so easy, and natural, to focus on the negatives of the baby months. There is no denying they are hard work, and certainly a shock to the system both in physical and psychological terms. When you are knee deep in caring for a newborn, it doesn’t always feel like a precious or magical time.

tired mother sleep deprived

I am as guilty as any mother of wishing the baby years away. In fact I rather resented those seasoned mothers who told me to savour every moment. I felt like saying ‘You try savouring never having time for a shower, constantly feeding, sleep deprivation and a wardrobe of shapeless clothes all coated with suspicious crusty stains’.

But now I see their point.

While it can be tough to grasp the moment as a new mother, these times will come back to sustain you as the years pass and your children grow up. When I see my ten-year-old son striding towards me, almost as tall as his mum and with an independent attitude that would put any teenager to shame, I can still glimpse that golden baby I couldn’t put down.

As I look into his blue grey eyes, behind his studious glasses, I can see the narrowed navy blue eyes that stared up into mine just moments after he was born. As he shrugs on a Minecraft T-shirt and jeans, I recall trying to manoeuvre his baby limbs into a tricky babygro. When I watch him sleep splayed across his bunk bed, a book resting on his chest after he fell asleep reading it, I see that little baby stranded in the huge expanse of his first cot, tucked in tight under a blue cellular blanket.

baby to child to grown up

So while I would hate to fall into the category of those patronising mums who entreat you to cherish every second, perhaps next time you change a particularly pungent nappy, or have to get up for the umpteenth time in the night, or a vital shopping trip is destroyed by a wailing infant, you can comfort yourself with the knowledge that in hindsight these moments will be erased leaving just the delightfully touching ones that will bring tears to your eyes when your children are all grown up.

Follow FDMTG on Twitter @fourdownmumtogo or visit the blog and please leave a comment below!

Do you find that your babies are growing up too quickly??

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