My Mum messaged me the other day, it said ‘enjoy today.’ Weird? No, it was my last day of Maternity leave, that’s what she meant. Which is great, but I wasn’t sure how to enjoy my ‘last day’ really. I sat at one point watching them play and thaught that I should be doing something different, special, but I couldn’t think what.
We did normal things that day. We went to a baby yoga class, which was a bit out of the ordinary because the toddler was there but not desperately different really. We visited some friends and splashed in their paddling pool. Lovely, but not different really, it was just what ended up happening on our little visit.
We had tea.
We walked the dog.
We had a bath and got ready for bed...we didn’t really do anything to mark the occasion as such.
With all that being said, 4 years ago I wouldn’t have done any of those things. I might have gone to a yoga class or visited a friend but not like this, not with two children and the chaos that brings with it.
The thing is, sometimes, I think we spend so long trying to make things ‘special’ because they’re a specific thing, a first this or a last that, that we forget to enjoy the ordinary. We forget that there are things we do that, in other circumstances we wouldn’t be able to do. While we may lament the loss of our ‘old lives’ or ‘this phase,’ there is always something exciting to come.
I’m sad that maternity has finished, that my baby is nearly a year old, that my toddler is rapidly becoming a preschooler, but the end of each of these means the start of the next. It’s sad that The Girl is fast moving away from the ‘toddler’ phase, but her language is so good now and she is very funny and sweet, which I didn’t really know until she spoke more. (I mean, I knew she was sweet but not in the way I know she is now). My little newborn is becoming a toddler, which might be sad that he isn’t a baby baby anymore, but he’s cheeky and increasingly mobile and boy does that bring new adventures with it.
What I am trying to say is this, I think I need to stop trying to mark special occasions and realise that our ordinary is pretty special, at least, most of the time it is!