This week my baby girl turned one year old. What an amazing year we’ve had chock full of joy, awe, cuteness and disbelief that this tiny human places her trust solely in us to help her grow. It has also been a year of coming to terms with helping this tiny human grow in an entirely different dynamic to my now 7-year old son. With no Nanna to hang out with, dote on her constantly or give me relief, I’m finding this parenting game at times… well… crappy.
What I have noticed is that slowly over the year, I’ve gotten myself more and more busy. Trying to achieve too much in too little time and I’m having to relearn lessons of the past. Specifically giving myself to others too much. This is something I swore I would reign in after watching my mother die overly concerned about others and not so much about herself.
In my head I crave the ability to have her here with me again so much it’s almost unbearable. Raising a child is more than just hard work. Those without children can’t begin to appreciate the depth of tiredness: physically, mentally, emotionally. Those parenting without a parent, particularly a mother (be it death or falling out), can appreciate the fact there’s no relief. Nobody who will just swoop in and watch the baby while you go get a haircut (or some days just an uninterrupted shower). Nobody to just do the washing without asking. Nobody to spoil your beautiful children as you were spoilt by your grandparents.
And the worst thing? Knowing she’d be so freaking happy to hear about all the milestones. Knowing that to her, being a grandmother was the best job in the world. Something she looked forward to more than anything else and something she cried about when she realised death was on her cards sooner than anticipated.
So although this last year was tough – and, quite frankly has made me even stronger – I kinda feel like it was tougher on her, missing out on these beautiful tiny humans.