My eyes are barely open, they are puffy with tiredness as I haul myself out of bed to the sound of my baby boy crying. I scoop him out of his cot, bring him in our bed and he thrashes around until he gets what he wants. I attach him to my boob, I haven’t looked at the time but I know it’s early as the alarm I set every day in the vague miracle that we will sleep until it goes off hasn’t rung out its jovial tune to signal me that I am indeed already wide awake and already an hour or so into the day. He settles down and we lie there together peacefully, although I don’t sleep again. Some time later two other little people run into our room, their hair crazy from the night before. They don’t know the meaning of personal space, and why should they? Nor would I want them to. They jump on us, kneeing us in places that shouldn’t be kneed, pulling off the covers and lying on top of us, entwining their warm little bodies into ours.

If it’s the weekend we lie there in relative peace for a while, the girls no doubt plugged into iPads, but not for long. Our baby boy is at a funny age, sometimes he will sit on the bed quietly for a while, causing mischief and throwing numerous things we give him on the floor, but more often than not we have to get straight up, he is at an age where he would just want to lie there feeding and he gets cross if he can’t. I usually can’t face his iron-clad wilfulness and will get up so we aren’t locked in a battle. If it’s a week day the mayhem ensues. There’s three (often different) breakfasts to prepare, two little heads of tangled hair to make presentable, clothes to get out, three sets of teeth to brush, and other little bits of our fine tuned routine to sort out before we bundle into the car for school and nursery.

After this the day begins. For two days a week our four year old is at nursery, but for the other three she’s mine just for a little longer. Some days we spend the day at home and I find a real sense of comfort in those days even though they are as ordinary and as samey as all the days that have come before them. The day revolves around naps, food, playing, work and tidying. Those five things, all combined, take up endless hours. A blur of nappy changes, hoovering up crumbs from the kitchen table for the umpteenth time that day, getting the Paw Patrol toys out, tidying the Paw Patrol toys away, answering an email here and answering an email there. We have 6 hours 15 minutes until our big girl comes home from school, yet those 6 hours fly by at a supersonic speed. Sometimes the days will be mixed up, slightly different from the norm but still so practically similar that they rarely register as any thing different. A trip to the garden centre with my Mum, or a soft play date with friends, retracing the steps I have made hundreds of times in the last six years, paying the lady in the reception who has been there for as long as I have. Eating a soggy panini that each time I say I’m not going to eat, but I always do. Washed down with a Diet Coke and the inevitable chats on how our children are doing this week.

I still remember when it was just me and my big girl. Those first months of motherhood were so overwhelming. Most of the time I would want to be sat at home, snuggling my babe and watching Sex and the City box sets. But I got up and got out, realising the importance of keeping busy. I made friends, I went to nursery rhyme time at the library, to stay and play at the children’s centre. For the first few months they would lie there and feed or sleep on our laps while we ate cake and tried to forge friendships. Then as they got bigger they would crawl about on large mats, sucking grubby toys that were actually full of germs if you really thought about it. We would spend hours discussing our babies sleep, or what they were eating, or going back to work.

Memories are a strange thing. When you are living in this life it all passes by in a blur. I remember the good days, the days walking around the park in the sunshine, pushing my new baby girl in a pram and feeling like the luckiest mum in the world. Sat on a picnic blanket with my new friends with the sun blazing down on my shoulders, with Mads in a beautiful sun dress with strawberries on it. But then there were those other days, those parenting days we all have. Where I would be pacing up and down just waiting to hear my husbands key turning in the door at the end of the day, just so I could get a break. Those days where I felt lonely, or overwhelmed, or where it all just seemed a little bit much. But for all those bad days, there were more of the good ones. The memories are hazy in time, but they are there. Just the two of us. We would cuddle up on the sofa, we’d read a book, do a jigsaw, or just lie there watching Peppa Pig, she’d nestle into the crook of my arm and I’d absentmindedly check social media. We had no distractions. There’s nothing like those first days with your first baby, even if you don’t realise the importance of them until afterwards.

It’s different now. There are way more distractions. Our second daughter came along 26 months later and those first days started again. Except it was harder to fully embrace those snuggly baby days, those days where you are so entwined with each other, where your worlds revolved around each other. Days spent on the sofa together weren’t as frequent when you had a toddler to tend to as well. Then when our baby boy came along 38 months after that. It was even busier. School runs day after day, more work to try and cram in on those quiet moments when we should have just been lying together, emails to answer instead of endless reruns of Gossip Girl. There’s more mess to clean up at the end of a day, there’s homework to nag about and there’s three little people to entertain, feed and get to bed.

In a few short months our littlest girl will be starting school. I thought that it wouldn’t be as emotional this time. I’d done the first school day, that overwhelming emotion that things were changing forever. I cried, I mourned the loss of my biggest daughter in a way. At six she’s still very much my little girl, she’s still so beautifully unaware of the world around her, but every week she gets that little bit bigger. I lose a little bit more of her, even though I don’t even know it at the time. She’s growing up and with that comes the sobering fact she won’t need me as much anymore. But I still have a baby boy and that first school day isn’t worth thinking about just yet. I thought that while it was going to be emotional with our middle daughter, that it would be ok and not as hard.

I was wrong. Already I am dreading it. I’m dreading the change. I know I will be ok, I won’t be crying in my car when I leave her every day. No doubt she will love and thrive at school just like her big sister. But that means that’s two. Two of them gone. Two lines drawn under the early days. I will never get them back. I often get people chat to me while we are out and about, whether that’s old ladies, or even people with children a little older than mine. I have lost count of the amount of times that someone has said ‘I miss those days’, or ‘Every stage is wonderful, I love the relationship I have with my teenagers now, but my goodness I miss those early days.’ Just really small passing comments that rarely register, but yet every so often I am reminded of them and they make me stop in my tracks and think.

These days are relentless, they are all consuming, and sometimes they all feel just that little bit intense. How can something be so incredibly mundane and ordinary, but intense at the same time?

These babies of mine are growing up. And I know I will look back and miss it. Just like I miss all the stages before this one.

Because one day it won’t be like this.




  • Emma Jones says:

    This has resonated with me so much, I’m due with my second baby any day now and whilst I wish away these last few weeks of a pregnancy that is draining me, I know that those newborn days will be here and gone before I know it. Then my firstborn starts nursery in September! It makes me feel so out of control of them growing up some days. It really is true when they say “the days are long, but the years are short”

  • Clare says:

    Oh my goodness Katie, those words brought tears to my eyes. Ethan has only just turned one and already I’m pining for those newborn days again.

    That old saying could never be more true – the days are long but the years are short xxx

  • Carie says:

    Oh it’s so true isn’t it – My middle one is already in the kindergarten class that will count as school from September onwards (a quirk of our early years department) and it’s made her seem so grown up already. With Pip rapidly approaching three it seems like our baby days are starting to be behind us, and I did feel a little sad when I realised that I have no children small enough for John Lewis’ baby section (especially a pair of mustard dungarees!)

  • Oh Katie this made me so emotional reading it. I’ve been feeling a lot lately about how much Holly is growing up and how can my baby be so big. I can’t get my head around that Alice is in her last term of her first year at school, its flown by. I was saying to Andy only today when I came back from a party that a lady said to be cherish this time, when they are teenagers you are basically a taxi and you worry so much more. I wish it could stay like this! x

  • Sherry says:

    It seems like 2017 is going ridiculously fast and I can’t believe that our girls are starting school in September – whilst she is more than ready I am definitely not. That photo of Mads and LL is just beautiful, it’s so sweet to see how close they are x

  • I had a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes the whole time I read this. Read it really really slowly too. I imagine only too well those lonely days, Mum to one. Also the bliss that it was just him and me. But also waiting for that key in the door. Also the dread of him starting school that started a year beforehand. That made me enjoy Summer 2014 so so so very much. Remembering bonding with him all over again at Xmas and finding the start of January as hard as September all over again. I can’t even begin to imagine Lottie starting school and I liken her to Wren and they aren’t anywhere near that yet yay! I don’t have the middle child to dread going to school but like you say she will thrive. Sorry I didn’t comment yesterday but I started to have a read and could tell I wasn’t in the right headspace yesterday to enjoy this post properly so saved it for now when I could fully digest it. It’s sad we have more interruptions now compared to those early days. I actually need to increase mine and start taking blogging more seriously. I never embraced the shift to pro blogger and am still a hobby blogger and even that has dropped by the wayside but I’m getting ready to get back on the horse.
    Great post – as ever you write so very well.

  • Donna says:

    Oh Katie this made me so emotional. I envy the fact you still have Wren at home – although I know it isn’t easy having three – as I know when T goes to school in September I will be a little lost. No little sidekicks at home, eating lunch by myself each day. I’m focusing on work – knowing I’ll be able to get a better routine when he goes to school and knowing I can really focus on quality time with them both when they’re not at school. You’re right though, the days go so, so fast x

  • Funnily enough I read a post just like this earlier today. It made me really want to embrace today and make the most out of every little moment. So when my little boy wanted to go to the beach to throw a stone into the water after nursery, off we went and we had the best day! You’re right, it won’t always be like this but I do think that even with all the difficult moments, these are the best days.

  • Natalie says:

    I’ve just cried reading this, my second little girl will be starting school in September leaving me with my baby boy. I’m dreading it, it’s all going so fast and soon it will just be our way of life. X

  • Mary Smith says:

    It is hard to think of life not being like this… But then I look at my oldest 2 and think of all that has changed, and as you say – it goes by in a blur!! I think I cried more when Megs started school than Ethan because she seemed so little still. She had the attitude but shes a June baby and so was still so little. I have struggled a lot recently with being at home with baby – I don’t see many people and its really hard. It makes me miss the play dates and fun we had when Ethan and Megs were at home full time!

    Exciting times ahead and big changes too – can you believe our oldest ones will be in year 2 soon ?? *sob* xx

  • Jenny says:

    Oh katie I actually had water eyes reading this I am right there with you minus the baby in tow but I am not ready for MM to go to school and no babies at home and our routine we have to change as it just goes way too fast. I am so emotional over it. Not that I will be crying dropping them both off but you know what I mean it’s that signal that we have moved onto the next stage in life and it’s so fast and too soon and we will look back on these amazing moments and think why couldn’t we have it just a little longer. I love hearing about your morning routines of them running in and baby snuggles with you all together what a beautiful family moment that must be. I wish my two were more cuddly they are up and wanting to eat and be dressed and I beg for cuddles and lazy weekend mornings but it doesn’t happen. This is really really bittersweet time in their lives isn’t it?

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