When I was pregnant I distinctly remember thinking that I couldn’t wait to hear my baby crying and for someone else to say ‘he wants his Mummy’. I couldn’t wait to be the only one to soothe my baby when he cried simply by holding him close.
In the first few weeks after he was born I remember feeling so smug when I handed him to visitors and he would cry – only settling when they gave him back. There is something about being the only one in the world that your baby knows, the only one he feels safe with that makes you feel so proud. I made the most of having him stuck to me like a second skin, some might say I ‘spoilt’ him.
But as the post-birth adrenalin that I was running on wore off and tiredness reared it’s big ugly head the novelty soon wore off. It suddenly wasn’t so fun being the only one tending to the baby’s every need (and he had a LOT of needs). I began to begrudge anyone saying ‘he wants his Mummy’.
Even now, over a year on, Marley is very much a mummy’s boy. He pretty much relies solely on me to get him to sleep at night and it is exhausting. I can’t remember the last time I had a whole evening at home to myself. Ryan will try to put him to bed but there’s only so long I can listen to Marley crying ‘Mama… Mama’ and Ryan telling me ‘he just wants his Mama’. When I inevitably take over Marley gives me a knowing smile and drifts off peacefully and something inside me caves.
Because, it is in these moments, when Marley is laying by my side, holding onto my hair and rubbing my arm, as I watch his chest rise and fall and feel his warm breath against my cheek as he buries his head into the pillow next to mine that I realise it’s not so bad that he only wants me. In fact, I am lucky that I am the only person in the whole wide world that he wants to fall asleep with. I am the only one that will have these memories. This phase won’t last forever, one day I will long for just one more night like this. Because there will come a time, when these days are long gone, that I will never again feel as loved as I do now. I will never be as needed nor as wanted by another human being as I am today. And so I will try to savour this feeling. Marley wants his Mama and that is just fine by me.