I spent so much time trying to put her down... I wish I had just enjoyed her.
I spent so much time counting the hours between feeds... I wish I had just enjoyed him.
I spent so much time worrying about sleep cycles and trying to get her to self-settle... I wish I had just enjoyed her.
I spent so much time trying to decipher his cries, while patting him to sleep... resisting the urge to just pick him up and rock him... I wish I had just enjoyed him.
I spent so much time anguishing over whether I was creating bad habits and making a rod for my back... And I wish I had just enjoyed her.
I meet mothers all the time who utter these exact words, while they watch their toddler tearing around the room.
The baby, whose sleep and feeds and behaviour they had spent endless hours stressing over, worrying about, is gone.
Those worries too, are gone, replaced with new ones. Ones that seem just as monumental. Just as important to “fix”.
“I wish I had just enjoyed her...”
People will tell you to enjoy every moment. That’s impossible. There will be days, sometimes weeks, where you will feel yourself crumble. Where you will wish the time away. That’s OK. That’s allowed.
But remember too that the baby days are fleeting. They do and will pass. Quickly.
So try, if you can, to make your memories of these days fond. So that you can look back and know that you *did* enjoy them and the brief time you got together, rather than just wishing you did.
“I’m glad I just enjoyed her...”
Let those be the words you utter instead.
Georgina Dowden is a mother, midwife and lactation consultant (IBCLC).
In her day to day life, she looks after her two beautiful children and also supports other families on their parenting journey.
If you would like to get in touch sleep/settling support, click here:
Home visits for breastfeeding support available if you live in the Northern Rivers of NSW.