baby

Leigh Campbell: Please stop telling new mums ‘it goes by so fast’.

When I was heavily pregnant with my baby, sore and swollen and ready, everyone told me not to wish away the time.

“You just wait until they’re here,” they said. “It goes by so fast.”

When my son was born and I took home a tiny baby everyone told me how fast the time goes.

“Enjoy the newborn snuggles,” they said. “It’s over in a blink of an eye and the next thing you know they’re walking.”

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Everyone told me how fast the time goes by, but I’m here to ask you to please think first before you say that to a new mother.

It’s well meaning. It comes from experience. It’s true. But it can also make a first time mum feel like there’s a rush.

Because maybe she’s really trying to savour the tiny fresh baby snuggles but it’s hard because she’s anxious. She’s never done this before. She’s second guessing everything.

She keeps hearing how fast the time goes, and how big her baby will be soon. She feels guilty that she wishes the hours away in the afternoons until it’s bed time because she can’t stop the baby crying, no matter what she tries.

 

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All my riches for you to always look at me that way ????✨

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Maybe, at 3 a.m., she wishes the nights away. For the baby to be older and to sleep more and to not need mum quite so constantly. But she feels guilty because she knows the time goes by so quickly.

She’s enjoying her newborn. She is. But she’s also exhausted, overwhelmed, overthinking everything.

Everyone’s telling her how big her baby is getting and how fast that happened. And she knows, and she’s proud, but it also happened in a blur. She worries that maybe she didn’t make the most of it. She didn’t savour enough moments. She feels like she just mastered a stage and then it’s onto the next. Did she stop to breathe in how tiny her child was? They’ll never be that tiny again. She thinks maybe she did but she was also in the trenches. It went by so fast.

She wants to do it again. Not with another baby. With that baby. With the confidence and know-how she has now. With everything she has learnt.

"She's enjoying her newborn. She is." Image supplied.
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She visits her friend with a newborn which makes her realise how much her baby has grown. Her baby isn't a newborn anymore, and she’s not quite sure when, in the fog, that happened.

On autopilot she almost says to her friend “enjoy this phase, the time goes by so fast.” But she remembers how that phrase made her more anxious, and maybe like she was ungrateful.

“You are a beautiful mum and you’re doing an amazing job,” she tells her friend.

Listen to Leigh Campbell and her co-host Tegan Natoli discuss parenting little kids on This Glorious Mess, or subscribe here.

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