I hear these nuggets of advice nearly every time I bump into a parent. ‘Enjoy every minute- they grow so fast. Enjoy this stage- soon they’ll be awake all the time, walking, talking- before you know it they’ll be leaving home.’
I’ve really had to make a conscious effort to enjoy Ava, now. Often tiredness sets in and there have been days where I’ve allowed how I’m feeling to spoil moments like night feeds or mornings where I’m feeding, changing and bathing her.
Today she is one month old and I recall those nuggets of advice which have never been more true, till now; to enjoy every minute because they grow so fast. Incredibly wise words of advice.
I’ve noticed the hours and days passing by at lightening speed it seems. I literally blink and the hours have gone. We’ve noticed her change each day- whether it be more hair on her head; longer eyelashes than the day before, more alert, and some days a change we can’t even put our finger on- but a change all the same.
The past two nights have made me aware that time is going so quick. Already she’s established pretty much a night time routine, bypassing two of her feeds, only needing one in the night! Great news for us- I don’t think we’ve ever been so excited about having more sleep! This totally beats that feeling when the clocks go back! But as I pondered this momentous moment- believe me, when you’re THAT tired, having just one night feed is momentous and something to celebrate! I just sat there and thought- already, she’s growing. Already, those night time feeds which Carl and I tirelessly dragged ourselves out of bed for- are practically gone!
Now, she is awake more in the day and needs stimulating more. Where has that month gone? The days where all she did was sleep? The hours we could enjoy (usually to sleep ourselves) but nevertheless hours where she was sleeping and we had some time together.
I like to keep myself up to date and informed, I am intrigued by knowing more about baby’s development so I can stimulate Avas and help her develop as best she can- so I read up regularly about what she ‘should’ for her age, be achieving. I keep an open mind on this though- after working in early years, I am passionate about allowing children to grow and develop at their own rate rather than pushing them to constantly be reaching each milestone set out as guidelines by well meaning researchers and books.
I was shocked to know that soon we can expect her to smile- and not just with wind, but smile because she actually recognises our voices and can react to sounds. Whaaaaat?? Before we know it, she’ll be talking and walking! Already we’ve noticed she has incredibly strong legs- able to push off from a surface or when being winded. From the moment she was born she had a ridiculously strong neck! I mean like crazy strong! Most new born baby’s you have to handle them like a fragile china doll! Its quite funny actually! You watch people when they’re holding a baby and they do that awrquard up tight shoulder movement and a dance with their arms as they try to figure out the best way to hold the baby and support their neck- petrified of dropping them and their head flinging back. Not Ava. She needed very little of this ‘support the head’. Of course we do support her head!- but she is more than capable and will lift it independently- we often get a head-but when winding!
Time is so precious- and this has never been more true since giving birth to Ava.
I thought of how we are often so impatient and quick to get to our destination in life. We may have an ambition, a dream, a goal, something you want to achieve within a time frame- all of which are great and I think it’s wise to set yourself a time frame to work towards. But how often, within this time frame do we moan, whinge and become frustrated of the growing? Or perhaps the problem is that we don’t see the time in-between as growth?
Philippians 2:14 ESV
Do all things without grumbling or questioning,
Ecclesiastes 3:1 NCV
There is a time for everything, and everything on earth has its special season.
Enthusiasm without knowledge is not good. If you act too quickly, you might make a mistake.
If you’re working your way up to manager before you’re 30- the time you spend as assistant, supervisor, assistant manager are all opportunities and periods for growth and development. Opportunities to better prepare you for your destination and be able to handle the role of manager well.
The house you’ve always dreamt of buying- the working hard to save for that deposit has taught you to manage your money more wisely, to save up for something you want, to learn about the bills you can expect to pay and analyse whether you could afford the outgoing expenditure. The patience it teaches you when the house you had your heart set on sells, and you then have to start the viewing process all over again.
Proverbs 24:27 (NCV)
First, finish your outside work and prepare your fields. After that, you can build your house.
All growth- wouldn’t you say?
Yet how often do we view this waiting time, this growth period as a negative? How often when you’ve reached your destination do you look back and say- I wish I’d have enjoyed the free time and money we had before we got a mortgage. Now I’m a manager, I wish I’d enjoyed the role of an assistant when there was less demanded of me- less stress.
How many of you remember saying when you were in primary school- I can’t wait t be in year 6, I can’t wait to be in High School, I cant wait to go to college, to get a job! Yet when we’ve reached those places, we look back wishing we’d enjoyed the times before where we were growing.
When you’re getting married, how many of us are told to enjoy the planning because the day arrives so quickly, to enjoy every minute of the day because it goes so quick. From experience, I can say this is so true! All that planning and the day flashes before your eyes.
As I look back on my pregnancy, apart from the first 16 weeks, I absolutely loved being pregnant! I took so much enjoyment in noticing the little and big changes in my body. From the first flutter in my stomach to first noticing a visible bump, hearing the heartbeat, having our first scan, merging from pre-pregnancy clothes into maternity, being able to move and bend down to barely being able to fasten my shoes- flip flops became my new best friend. I loved it all! I captured every feeling by writing about my pregnancy and taking pictures so I could create a scrap book to look back on. I didn’t want to forget this period of growth. I wanted to look back and smile at the pictures of my growing bump. I can honestly say, out of all my life experiences, I really did enjoy the growing in my pregnancy.
I most certainly don’t want to regret wishing away time with Ava. I can’t slow time down, and there will be days I’m sure where things seem monotonous. But I am making a conscious effort to enjoy every moment of Ava’s growth. Enjoying every moment in my own growth from Cheryl into Cheryl and Mummy, Carl and Cheryl into Mummy and Daddy.
Whatever your circumstances, in what seems like the waiting, the in-between- what I like to call the growing –will you enjoy it? Learn in it? Or will you constantly be looking to the end result that you miss the growing inbetween?
It is not yet time for the message to come true, but that time is coming soon; the message will come true. It may seem like a long time, but be patient and wait for it, because it will surely come; it will not be delayed.
Joel Osteen- ‘What’s happened to you is not nearly as important as what’s happened in you.’