I have had the most incredible nearly 12 months with the most wonderful daughter I could have ever hoped for.
For all the “having a baby won’t change me/us, things will be the same, it will just be 3 of us now” Husband and I thought would happen after we had her, we can categorically say she has turned my/our life around in ways I couldn’t even imagine and I am so grateful to her for showing me what really matters – money comes and goes, some friends fall by the wayside, but it is family that counts.
And I have been so grateful for all the advice given from family and friends, from those who have been there and done that and gotten the t-shirt too. The advice for the last 12 months has been invaluable, especially in the early days when I cried with gratitude over my first hot cup of tea in 3 days.
But I know Peachy better than anyone and so as we approach her first birthday, here’s the deal.
She may be one, and she may be starting to have teeth, and yes she adores food but she will still be readily breastfed as and when she wants. I will still express milk at work to keep my supply to ensure that she gets the best nutrition that I can give her. I can assure you that she won’t miss out on anything having not been given cows milk.
She will still sleep cuddled in bed with Husband and I as we feel that this is the best place for her, not stuck in a cot where she is so unhappy that she cries and cries – she is not being manipulative, she is expressing distress. We are the only species that actively encourages our babies to sleep away from us – do you see a mumma lion or elephant or gorilla send their babies off to bed away from them? When did we start listening to cultural norms and not following our natural instincts?
She will play and learn and grow and develop in her own sweet time. I am not concerned by ‘milestones’ and I am not going to compare her to children of her age range. Each child is beautifully and wonderfully different. Husband and I actively encourage her to be her own person, expressing opinions as best she can (generally by shouting/pointing/head shaking/spitting). Why would we do anything but allow our girl’s personality to flourish?
I know there is so much that Husband and I just don’t know, and I am sure that others may shake their heads and say “you don’t do it like this or that” but as Peachy grows and learns, so do we as her parents. We know our girl so please respect the decisions that we make regarding our family.
I never thought that I would be a breastfeeding, co-sleeping/bed sharing, baby wearing mumma but I wouldn’t have it any other way. My body, my baby, my choice.