Whilst Bubba has been busy learning how to walk, talk and generally make herself heard, I've also found out some things in the last 18 months and this is what I've learnt...
I've found that I'm not good with change. (I've never been good with change to be honest) but I'm really not good. It throws me every time. For instance, when bub started walking, I was happy and excited for her and then I got really anxious...would I be able to control her, how would we do things, do I still take the buggy everywhere...the whole ball game changed as she was now independent.
My neighbour gave me two pieces of advice when bub arrived. Don't rush into having another baby (I have resisted this) and don't get used to anything as it's constantly changing. I've found this to be very true, I get used to one thing and it goes and changes.
I like (and need) more sleep. I can be ok for a couple of days with little sleep (if bubba is ill or teething) but if it goes on any longer than that I start to get very down, very quickly. I become the mother of doom. Hubby is more even keel and keeps us all afloat but left alone I don't want to dwell on where my mood would drop to.
It's the simple things that matter. I can get very tied up worrying about whether I'm taking bub to the right classes or doing enough things with her on my days off. I then calm down and take a moment and watch her in pure ecstasy running free in the park on a windy day. She can be engrossed in watching a leaf in the wind or a pigeon walking past. It's only then that I remember some of my best memories are being over the park and exploring (not the expensive, geered up for toddler places...although these can be good too).
I love having someone little to hug and kiss, although bub doesn't feel quite the same any more. She will allow one cuddle and then she is off and running.
I'm fairly good at my swan impression. On the outside I look calm and unfazed but below the surface my brain is frantically paddling to keep up. I'm really good at being organised and this helps me but most of the time I really don't have a clue, I'm just getting good at faking it.
No one really knows what they are doing and we all forget what we did know really, really quickly. I already can't remember all the sleep training tips, weaning advice and general baby advice. You start to live in the moment.
I picked a great man to be my husband and the father of my baby. He wades into the mess of toddler tantrums and lack of sleep with a shrug and a smile. He reassures me and picks up the slack (although on a bad day, this annoys the hell out of me). He is what you'd call 'a good egg', liked by everyone and really easy going.
I couldn't do this without help. My parents are a constant source of inspiration and help to me. Bubba adores them too.
Lastly I've realised I am very patient (guess we all do that when kids come along). I pick my battles but really they aren't even battles...just a small push and shove of boundaries.