27 December 2010

Reflection on Change

Tomorrow Layla will be 8 months old. Eight months ago, my life changed forever. As I was putting Layla to sleep tonight, I found myself thinking about how things change and also stay the same. Every night for the past eight months we have followed the same bedtime routine. Yet the baby I put to bed tonight is so different to the baby I brought home all those months ago. Then she was so small and fragile. We hardly knew each other. Everything was new. I didn't know how long she would sleep, was unsure when she needed to feed, whether she was full or hungry. My body had changed and was continuing to change. I had become a Mother and my child was fully dependant on me for her survival.

Layla - only a few minutes old
Now eight months on, we know each other. We have a routine. I know Layla's signals, her cries, her noises. While I'm still breastfeeding her, Layla knows how to feed herself finger food and is showing her independence more and more everyday. I know eight months is not eighteen years. There are plenty of changes and challenges awaiting us in the weeks, months and years ahead.

Layla - almost 8 months
What today really made me think about was change. On reflection, I can hardly believe how much we have been through and how much change we have dealt with in such a short period. One of my favourite sayings is that "this too, shall pass". When things are bad, you need to know that this too shall pass, things will get better and another change will come. When things are good, you need to know that this too shall pass, you need to enjoy the joys for they will not last forever.

When Layla was really small and I was having problems, people would tell me that these dramas would end and that she will only be small for a very short amount of time. At the time, my vision was clouded and I saw no end. Now I look back in amazement at how right they were. It was hard to enjoy the early days and appreciate how quickly life changes with a baby. Then she was so tiny and frail. Now she's so chubby and happy. Then, I had nearly no idea what I was doing. Now I feel more confident and feel in tune with my child. It's difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel when you are sleep deprived and being challenged by a crying baby. What you (and I) need to remember, is just how quickly things change and that every challenge is to be enjoyed and relished. It'll all be gone before too long.

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