The Little Things

Recently, I have been
reminiscing about how my life has changed since becoming a mother.

Upon reflection, I look
like a zombie most days and fashion the ‘bedraggled’ look far too
often. I have approximately zero time to myself. The time I do have
to myself is spent slumped on the sofa procrastinating when I should
be doing other things. I have probably had about ten nights in the
past year where Oliver has slept through, even then I wake up to
check he’s okay. I may as well be nocturnal.  I’ve gained
four stone through comfort eating alone, my
maternity wear fits better now than it did when I was nine months
pregnant. I am a mammoth. Oh the shame.

Although, most
importantly, I have found myself bewildered with the amount that I
have learned from Oliver. How can such a tiny human bring so much
knowledge into the world without any intention nor care for it?  It’s
only been just over a year and I have learned more from him than he
will ever know.

It is truly astounding
the impact a little one has on not only ourselves, but those around
us and our daily lives.  He has taught me so much that I didn’t
even know there was to be learned.

He has shown me
happiness, true unequivocal happiness.  He has inspired me with
his courage, strength and determination.  He is fearless. I am
forever in awe of him.

He has taught me to
look for the slightest positive of a terrible situation and to cling
to it. To remember that no matter how bad things get, they could
always be worse. He has taught me to keep going, when I want nothing
more than to so desperately give up. 

Above all, he has
taught me to be thankful; regardless of circumstance. 

Having a child with
special needs means I definitely appreciate the little things. 
So many simple routines or actions escalated into major tasks for
Oliver.

For example, it took
Oliver until he was 11 months old to be able to firstly hold a small
teether without dropping it, secondly make the link to put it to his
mouth and thirdly, to actually use it and not lose his grip.

‘Using a teether’ is
such a simple action and generally one of impulse, yet for Oliver it
was broken down into different steps and mastering each step was a
milestone within itself.

When your child has
additional needs you analyse absolutely everything. 

Everything.

My mind never stops
worrying or wondering whether Oliver will ever be able acquire
certain abilities.  The ‘will he, won’t he?’ questions are an
endless cycle of exhausting thoughts. If he will, when will he?
How will he? Can I be doing more? Should I be doing more?
What if he doesn’t? What do I do?

I have never felt a
more intense sense of relief than when Oliver began to show an
interest in toys and actually attempt to interact with them.  It
could well have been a day that never came (for some families the
sad reality is that it may not), but I am beyond thankful, grateful and
blessed that it did. 

So, when my mind decides to worry about all of the things that I have no control over, I try to remember all of the wonderful things that I am thankful for and not to dwell on the ‘what ifs and maybes’.

I have an amazing family, a roof over my head, a
loving, supportive fiancé to come home to.
I have clean water to drink, clothes to wear and I don’t ever have to
worry about where my next meal is coming from. I can see, I can hear,
I can taste and I can smell. I can walk, I can run (well, attempt
to) and I can communicate.  I am fortunate to have people to call on when needed and for them to be there.

These are all abilities and things that I often take for granted, yet they are crucial to my wellbeing and happiness. Not to mention Oliver being entirely dependent upon them.

Quite often it’s the ‘little things’ or small gestures from others that put a smile on our face. Somebody asking how your day was, somebody holding a door open for you or making you a drink.  They can appear insignificant at the time, potentially not even acknowledged some days. They rarely enter our considerations as our minds are forever whirring elsewhere or we are too preoccupied with other tasks.

Since becoming a mother, I have become far more aware of the world around me.  Far more aware of all the things that I can do and that others do for me which I sometimes don’t give a second thought for.   

If this past year has taught me anything, it is not to take anything for granted. Whether it be health, happiness, the big or the simple, little things. To reflect and to be thankful regardless of what mood I may be in or day I may have had.

Every smile, every frown, every laugh, every tear, every sound, every sleepless night, every feeding battle, every lingering touch is to be treasured.

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10 Comments

  1. September 9, 2017 / 6:53 pm

    You're doing a great job momma. Sometimes we just need to step back and look at this little person we created. Seven months and I'm still in awe that I made this happy girl who brings so much joy. Don't ever doubt you are doing enough. you love your little boy and he knows it, that's all that matters to him.

  2. September 9, 2017 / 11:13 pm

    What a beautiful post, you are doing a great job mama

  3. September 9, 2017 / 11:31 pm

    It's amazing how we think and plan about all the things we can and should teach them and meanwhile we are leaning so much from them.

  4. September 10, 2017 / 2:16 am

    Wow! This is a beautiful post. Great job Mama! I am 38 weeks pregnant and I can't wait to experience the same things 🙂

    Inna
    thelittlebigspender.com

  5. September 11, 2017 / 12:26 am

    It's amazing what babies and children will teach you! I have learned to be more patient and have also started to let things go. I used to be so OCD. I am definitely way more chill now.

  6. September 11, 2017 / 2:39 pm

    Your boy is so cute and he'll always be the brightest diamond filling your life with happiness..

  7. September 14, 2017 / 1:11 am

    Beautiful post about motherhood and your baby boy. Kids teach us so much, everyday as they grow. Keep rocking the bedraggled look mama!

  8. Marty SB
    December 1, 2017 / 8:51 pm

    We have a very similar experience. Our son (adopted at birth in Jan 2013) had subtle problems from birth. At six weeks he stopped breathing at home. We spent over 2 weeks in the hospital and left with an NG tube (later a G tube) and the prognosis that he MAY never walk, talk, eat orally or see. Every milestone has been not a “when” but an “if.” Your journey mirrors ours. We take nothing for granted. We grieve and celebrate daily. You are not alone. XOXOX

    • December 5, 2017 / 7:10 pm

      Oh I’m so sorry to hear this Marty but thank you so much for sharing – it sounds very similar to us. It really is a daily whirlwind but just have to keep reminding ourselves to take it day at a time xx

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