I’m a bit early for Thanksgiving (not that we really celebrate it), but I think every day is a good day to think about what you’re thankful for. It’s one of the strategies I used to get through fertility treatments (probably the hardest thing I’ve done in my life so far) and those early newborn crying jags, and it’s something I don’t think you can do too often. So today I’m talking about five things I have been grateful for as a new mother.
- The Engineer
I can absolutely 100% say that I don’t know how I would do this without him. He’s a hands on Dad, always willing to help, and he totally understands that being at home is hard sometimes. He gives me breaks to go get pedicures in the weekend, does all the nappies when he’s home (even at night), and doesn’t complain if I do nothing but keep the baby alive for the whole day. I’ve read some horror stories about other people’s partners, and I don’t quite know how I got so lucky!
I have been ridiculously lucky in this area, because The Engineer’s Baby seems to be a natural. She was wriggling around to improve her latch at two days old, and has only improved as she has grown. I considered adding bottles of expressed milk a while ago, but it just all seemed so much more complicated with the sterilising and storing and getting things the right temperature. And that’s not even considering needing them in the night. Breastfeeding is often seen as the more difficult option, but for me that has not been the case, and (once again) I don’t quite know how I got so lucky!
- Our cleaner
Since a month before Baby Engineer was born, we have had someone come in three times a week to clean for us. She cleans, washes dishes, does laundry, the whole nine yards, and it is amazing. Particularly because she doesn’t have to ask – she just does what needs doing with no input from me. I know we are very lucky to be in the position where this is possible. But it has seriously made my life a thousand times easier. Well worth it.
- Modern technology
With being so far away from friends and family, video calling is pretty much an essential. When I lost my phone, I was so sad to think I might have lost all the pictures of her first couple of months, and was ridiculously grateful when Dropbox backup came through for me. Having TV that I watch on my schedule (or more like her schedule!) is a lifesaver some days. And you don’t even want to know how many things I’ve Googled since she has been born. Sometimes I just don’t know how people raised babies in the days before the Internet!
- My social and smiley wee girl
I don’t like classing babies as good/bad, easy/difficult, etc. and I really don’t even know where Baby Engineer would fall. But one thing I do know is that when she was just a few weeks old, and started up with the intense evening scream sessions, her smiles made it so much easier to deal with. She really is lovely.
Sometimes it’s hard to be a new parent. Sometimes it’s very hard indeed. But remembering the positives is such a boost on the days where everything just seems to be going haywire. With a baby who is going through a huge development stage and seems to be starting teething, I think I might need to come back and re-read this list a fair few times in the coming weeks!
It’s hard with posts like these for me not to feel a little bit gloaty (probably something I need to work on). So I want to emphasize that I take no credit for any of the above; I am just very grateful for the good things that have come my way. I do not in any way intend to “show off”, and I really hope it hasn’t come across that way…