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 travel, writing, freelancing or Amsterdam instead. Alternatively read one of my short stories or check out some book reviews and recommendations.
Dear Baby Bird,
And then there were three.
For the last two weeks I half-dreaded, half-yearned for the moment there would be only you, me and your dad. After welcoming the Kraamzorg (maternity) nurse into our home for most of week one (more about this soon) and four grandparents in week two, it seems astonishing we hadn't lived a full day as just a family of three. Not that I was complaining; the help we received in those two weeks was essential to the current well-being of both you and me.
Somewhat to my surprise, being a three proved easier than I expected. I rediscovered the comfort of a routine. Your dad went back to dealing with a few work things, I focused on you and you kept feeding like clockwork, searching your surroundings studiously, waving your arms around like a crazed orchestra conductor and sleeping mostly during the day, but occasionally for small chunks during the night.
I started to feel like I could do this. You don't know how heartening that was for me to have this thought, and completely unprompted by someone else's kind words.
One of the highlights for the week was going to get your passport photo taken. A kind man at the photography shop around the corner from our house helped us prop you up on a stool and with your dad crouching on one side and me on the other, we managed to hold you up in position for just long enough that the photographer captured you pulling the grumpiest, most unimpressed expression I've seen you display. I never knew that even babies could have passport photos that make them look like criminals.
This was also the week we started to venture out on our own, you and me. Thanks to the (mostly!) good summer weather we've been able to go on long walks together and when you fall asleep in your pram, I park us in a coffee shop and I let myself feel like a normal latte-drinking person whose main concern is what Whatsapp messages she has to reply to. When three weeks ago I felt like I had been turned inside out, I can't explain just how good that normality feels like.
So I think we're going to get on as a family of three. Your dad spends hours counting the ways you look like him and still isn't finished and me, well, I know I'm not yet the best possible mum I could be to you yet, so stick around, Little One. I think things are only going to get better,
Your still sleep-deprived, still crazy-in-love but suddenly a little optimistic mother x
Frances M. Thompson
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