Having a child is life-changing. You learn alot about yourself in the midst of dirty nappies, tiny tears, adorable smiles, and sleepless nights. If you’re anything like me you will see things about yourself you like and dislike, because once a child enters your world you are suddenly living life very differently and your good and not-so-good traits come out. Days merge into months and the passing of time seems to go faster and faster. Now that my little Rose is about to turn one, I am contemplating life and how things have changed for my partner and I since Rose entered the world. From the unsettling newborn days to seeing her excitably toddle around, it’s been a year of big and small changes for her and us. I love to see how innocent, naive and inquisitive she is. She is a constant reminder to be a better version of myself and to live in the moment. For this reason, I want to share with you some of the life lessons my little one has taught me.
1. Breakfast like a king
You know the old saying ‘breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper’, well Rose lives by this. She takes two whole weetabix every morning…and I’m pretty sure would eat a further two if allowed! Lunch is a small sandwich, some fruit and a yogurt and then she barely eats a thing at dinner. Whilst this of course might change, I definitely think Rose is doing the whole eating thing right. Filling your belly at breakfast when you are probably a bit groggy and need the energy, gives you a big boost to start your day right…plus it fills you up to lunchtime. You want to eat a good healthy lunch to get you through the rest of the day, but come dinner time it makes sense to just have something small, especially if you’re just going to relax at home and put your feet up (or sleep in Rose’s case).
2. There is joy is the small things
Rose is on the cusp of turning one year old and she is becoming an even smilier and gigglier baby with each passing month. Tickles, toys and funny noises entertain her no end. Because she is so easily amused, it makes me smile and laugh along with her. It’s true what they say, kids don’t need a lot to be happy and Rose is a constant reminder of this. She makes me want to take things slower and enjoy the little things in life, like sitting watching her play with a coffee in my hand or taking her to the park to go on the swings. It’s doing small things with her that makes me most happy.
3. Be fearless
I don’t know when babies begin to have a fear of things but Rose certainly doesn’t have ‘the fear’ yet. Take walking for example, she is so so so close to walking on her own (she has taken about three steps unaided) and just launches herself off the sofa towards the next obstacle to get to where she wants to go. Similarly she crawls everywhere and can find her way into every little corner of the house, and lately she has begun climbing the stairs (time to get that safety gate!). She loves to see and touch animals and is a great little mover when music comes on. Long may she be fearless and be a happy-go-lucky little girl.
4. Drink lots of water
We’re constantly being told in the media that drinking lots of water is important to our health. Water can make our minds sharper, help maintain a healthy weight and ward off tiredness. Some days I drink lots of water, other days I’m not so good about keeping hydrated. Rose guzzles water like there is no tomorrow. She always seems parched and so I make sure to have water on hand for her all the time. Seeing her drink water constantly reminds me to fill up on water too. I like to have a bottle of water for the car and on my desk at work in an effort to stay hydrated in the midst of all my tea and coffee drinking.
5. Live in the present
Children don’t think about the past or look to the future, they are just there in the moment, reacting to what they see, feel and hear. I’m trying to learn to do the same. But in the era of social media and wanting to document everything, I struggle. I want to continually take pictures and videos of Rose to capture the moment but I know what I should really be doing is leaving my phone down and ‘just be’ with my daughter and share the little moments together. Of course, it’s lovely to have pictures and videos to look back on, but memories stay alive in the mind forever. Don’t you agree?