Whenever I look at Clara – whether she is sound asleep in her moses basket, feeding contently or giving me a big cheeky smile – I don’t want these moments to end.

With your first child you can’t wait to reach the big milestones. We rush to wean onto food, impatiently anticipate their first word and step, even look forward to that first tooth popping up.

As they grow into toddlers and young children, its all about how quickly they can potty train, learn to count, learn colours, shapes and numbers.

Perhaps its excitement at becoming a parent, mixed with trying to keep up with other competitive mums and a need for reassurance that we are doing a good job. But we seem so keen to reach each milestone as soon as possible, eager for our children to advance beyond their age, that before we know it they are not babies anymore. I know everyone says it but its true – they grow up so fast.

I know we have lots of amazing experiences to look forward to as she grows but right now I want things to stay this way for as long as possible. It would be nice to be able to just press pause for a while.

Right now she needs me. She relies on me. She only knows love. She’s so little, and new. I don’t want that to change.  But it will. And much sooner than I
would like. She’s already starting to lose that new baby smell.

This time round I am in no rush. I won’t wish away her childhood in anticipation of the next milestone. I want to take my time to enjoy it. I think sometimes we pay too much attention to what the books say, what other babies can do, the choices other parents make, instead of listening to our own instincts and enjoying the journey.

Of course I will celebrate the milestones. I will be so proud of all the firsts and welcome each new chapter in her life. In our life. But at the same time, I will miss the chapter that inevitably has to come to an end. She won’t be a baby for long.

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