I actually started a post with this title last year but got taken away from it and never finished it. I tend to write them as a stream of consciousness so find it hard sometimes to go back to where my thoughts were heading.
The principal last year was the same as this one really. I was returning to work from mat leave, I was facing life as a working single mum, I was overcoming the emotions of leaving my husband and rebuilding my confidence and baby P was turning one and starting attending childcare. It was a lot and as much as I didn’t feel ready, I also was, both of us were, we were more than ready. I needed to go back to work, to be more than just a mum, I needed to fulfil my ambitions and get back onto building my career. Little P needed the social interaction, routine and challenge of childcare, she was ready to be more stimulated and learn more. That said, I wasn’t ready to give up my baby, I wasn’t ready for her to embark on toddlerhood and be so grown up.
Then, just like that, as if someone flicked a switch, she turned two and a year on, I still don’t feel ready. The fact is that it’s not the next steps or the moving forward we’re doing in our life together. It’s that she’s growing up too fast, I feel like her life is whizzing past me and as much as I’m trying to live, love and enjoy every moment, it goes in a flash. It’s all to easy to get caught up in the day to day activities of life, work, child minders, play group, dance class and lessons on the naughty step that you forget to take a step back and fully absorb what’s going on, to take as many mental and physical photos of the moments so you can remember them and relive them. Truth is, I want to keep my little bestie little but I also want to watch her grow and learn. I’m caught in a catch 22 of loving each new age and stage with all it brings (blood, sweat, tears and tantrums included-yes I did say that!) yet also wanting to freeze time, to slow it down and just hold her a little longer, breath her littleness and innocence in a little more. To be fair, you can’t win with us Mother’s, we wish time away hoping to get rid of the difficult fickle phases and yet we want to keep tight hold of the precious moments.
In someways I think I’ve enjoyed her second birthday more than her first, I’m in a much better emotional place this year, I’ve achieved so much and I’m much more secure in myself and my own strength that I was able to relax a lot more and enjoy my daughter pottering around with all her friends and people we love, whilst she stuffed her face with blue icing and fish shaped crackers whilst singing baby shark! We played sleeping bunnies, ring-a-ring-a-roses and hook a duck, we sang, blew out her golden number 2 candle and felt very very loved. I took few pictures but will remember it, I’ll always remember her little face, her enjoyment and complete lack of understanding as to what a birthday is.
So just like that she was two and I felt overwhelmed and emotional at the thought of my baby girl not being a baby anymore, she looks and acts like a little girl now, she’s lost that baby look and has a chatty, bolshy personality to test and push the boundaries like a feisty teenager. She’s clever and amazes me everyday, she tests my limits and tries my patience. And as much as I wish I could freeze time, I’m so proud and enjoy watching her grow. And I will always have those memories, those moments I’m missing will always be there, no one can take those away, no matter how quickly she grows up.
However, I’m just not ready for her to be so big, I’m not ready to keep seeing these changes in how she grows, I’m not ready for her to be big because she’s my baby girl and no matter what, she’ll always be my baby girl, yesterday, today, tomorrow and every other day.