Today marks the sixth anniversary of motherhood for me. So, on this day, 6 years ago, I met my first son, and embarked upon this crazy ride of parenthood.
This is the first picture of Hayden and I. I did not know it was taken – Jason took it and it was only when I was looking through the pictures I saw it. It is quite possibly the most precious photo ever to me. I am seeing him for the first time, after a horrendously long labour, concerns for him, and threats of a forcep delivery, but nope, I did it. The sheer joy of seeing this perfect little face, 10 little fingers and ten little toes was so overwhelming. It still is some days. There is no job interview for motherhood – you just after 40ish weeks (well 41 with Hayden) are hired. But I think what you make of the title or role of motherhood is what makes you a mum.
Hayden, as some of you might recall, was a terrible sleeper initially. The first 8-10 weeks of his life I think I amassed a whopping 12 hours sleep. He would literally sleep 20 minutes and then stay awake for about 12 hours. I was well used to sleep deprivation – being a shift worker – but this was insane. Jason intervened (and he was often away from work as we lived rurally and I mean HOURS by road away) and we took Hayden to a sleep clinic in Albury, a good 3 hour drive from Griffith. We returned with a different baby! It was amazing! I do know, over the past six years, the true meaning of fatigue, exhaustion, and complete and utter love. Hayden loves me (and his daddy) without limits and without conditions.
Here is our first family photo (notice that Hayden is screaming?!!)
Hayden was born at Griffith Base Hospital, at 1546 hours. He weighed in at 9 ” 4 ounces and in kilos – 4.26. He was stupidly long as well!
For the first few months I felt completely useless – like I did not know what Hayden needed or wanted. All I knew was how to feed, clean and comfort. I doubted myself, and my instincts, but they were right ( I eventually realised) – and so Hayden thrived and grew. My sanity was saved by some of the most beautiful women with whom I still am friends with, albeit by distance, but whom I love dearly.
I am every day thankful that these three women are in my life. I would be lost without them!
Hayden has grown, and while the stages – toddler, little boy, baby, etc have all sadly been and gone, he is and will always be my little boy. He is vivacious, highly inquisitive and a very pensive little fella. You can see his cheeky ways in these photos –
Hayden has grown so very much. Looking through these and many other photos today made me realise how much he has grown in the last year alone. Hayden has been awesome – he had to cope and adjust to the addition to our clan of not one newborn but three. He was only 3 1/2 when the trio were born. And what a legend this kid is – not one tantrum about the ‘babies’ – ever.
So, yep, I am a mum, but I am learning from my kids. Hayden has taught me more than I ever thought possible. He has shown me insight into everyday events (groceries for example) that make me so much more aware of why we do what we do. His observations of every day life astound me – seriously he has a major ‘thinking’ cap on. I can proudly say that I have worn Hayden’s vomit, and gosh knows what other excrement and not once worried about it dripping off my face – but worried about comforting him. I have felt my throat constrict on several occasions when he could have fallen over, or something ‘could’ have happened. I will never forget the day Hayden got bitten by a redback! He was not envenomated, but man, that was a scary ride for a bit there! (He has a nick name Spideyboy!!)
I have wiped away almost every tear, consoled almost every night mare, scary dream or spooky situation (his words!). I remember when he took his first steps. I love how still, when we are out, he instinctively puts his hand up for me to hold. I love how he used to ask to be ‘carriaged’ in stead of carried as he thought that was the right word, and I remember how sad I was when he no longer said it. Every night I still sing him his ‘special’ lullaby (and if I am at work I have to call and sing it over the phone!!). It is a random song I started singing to him when he was around 2 months old to get him to sleep – “It’s time for nigh nigh’s, when special boys go bye bye’s, and they sleep for loooong times, so Mummy doesn’t go crazy”! The next verse is generally about what he will do tomorrow or something along those lines. I cannot sing for crap – but in his mind, I can, and that is all that matters.
I realise that now, and for every day in the rest of my life I am a mum/mummy/mamma. While some days are so incredibly exhausting (especially now with the trio) I have a great sense of achievement in the wonderful little beings we are raising. Hayden has manners – and I am often told so by complete strangers. I have a little boy that would rather go to the museum than to Dreamworld – so much so that the staff at the QLD Museum actually recognise us and say hello to us when we go now! Hayden loves reading, and loves reading about dinosaurs and Australian Animals. He thinks that he will be a Palaeontologist when he ‘grows up’ during the week, and a veterinarian on the weekends. He always saves up pocket money to donate to either the guide dogs or the RSPCA. He understands what the RSPCA and the Guide Dogs do! It is just amazing how empathetic this little fella is.
I could write for pages about my kids, not just Hayden. Today is special, because not only is it Hayden’s birthday, it is the anniversary of my Mummy title. I will be sad the day he stops calling me Mummy too. He has grown so fast, and adjusted so well to many changes – moving, triplet siblings, working parents. I only hope, that as I embark on my next year of motherhood, that I can continue to nurture, embrace and instil the good old values of respect, honesty and goodwill.