A Diary of Motherhood: Week Four

This Diary of Motherhood is a series of weekly letters to my first baby, my little son who I call Baby Bird. I know not everyone wants to read about the highs and lows of motherhood so you can read non-baby related posts about travelwritingfreelancing or Amsterdam instead. Alternatively read one of my short stories or check out some book reviews and recommendations.

Dear Baby Bird,

This week things happened. 

You went out on a boat, and to do that you also went on a long car journey too. You were a "proper" baby and fell asleep instantly in the car, even when you were hungry and due a feed. I did wonder for a second if we could justify the great expense of having a car even though we don't need one, just so we have a guaranteed way to put you to sleep... As for the boat, I guess you could have been anywhere, curled up against my chest in your sling, which has to be one of the best things we bought as it (nearly always) cures those evening time grizzles we've come to expect. Apparently, it's your way of processing and communicating all the different things you've learned that day. At least, that's what Google tells me and that's what I reassure myself with; that it's not something I've done wrong to make you howl like a banshee.

You were also introduced to a collection of Australia's music icons from the last few decades. It was while watching your dad, who I call NewMan on this blog - I'll explain why one day - hold you as Never Tear Us Apart by INXS played, that I knew I was coming out of that murky, tear-filled zone that had felt like a life-sucking swamp just few weeks earlier. Seeing all that love ooze out of him and land on you, well, that would have been enough to make me use up half a box of tissues in Week Two, but seeing it this week didn't overwhelm me. Yes, it made me feel emotional and lucky beyond my dues and stupidly in love with both of you, but it didn't make me fear the future or want to push the pause button on life.

There were also more walks and more stops in coffee shops as you slept and I dosed up on a minimal amount of caffeine not wanting any of it to literally drip through to you.

There were also naps. Finally, I can sleep when you sleep. It's like the adrenaline has finally left my body and the tiredness has reached such new levels that I can't fight it off with my new-mum-wired-anxieties. Instead, I follow your lead and let sleep come in.

And I just want you to know that these hours are by far my favourite. I feed you, I watch your eyes close, and I feel my own doing the same. I let it all happen. I fall asleep to the sound of your snuffles, and I wake to the rhythm of your kicks. When time, tidying and tantrums allow, I hope there are many more naps together over the next weeks, months and maybe, if you'll let me, years.

Your nap-happy, less sleep-deprived, crazy-in-love mother x

Frances M. Thompson

Londoner turned wanderer, Frankie is an author, freelance writer and blogger. Currently based in Amsterdam, Frankie was nomadic for two years before putting down some roots with her Australian partner and having a baby boy in July 2015. In 2017, she launched WriteNOW Cards, affirmation cards for writers that help build a productive and positive writing practice. When not writing contemporary fiction, Frankie shops for vintage clothes, dances to 70s disco music and chases her son around Amsterdam.
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