The other day I was visiting a friend who had recently had a new baby, when I arrived and met the new little girl her mum asked me if I wanted to hold her, which of course I did. When I went to pick her up I found myself asking advice on how to hold her. I was so nervous because she was so tiny and fragile. Most of my friends have older children, so I donít often get to spend time with friends with much younger babies.
Having had two children of my own who are now much older I expected to be able to jump in with both feet as an experienced mother and know exactly what I was doing, but when I got there I realised that you quickly forget what itís like to have a new baby.
When I was holding her I could not believe how small she was and that my babies had been that small when they were born. I knew that after a couple of days with a new baby your confidence grows and you are not so nervous about handling them. But if you are out of practise for a while, you feel you have gone right back to the beginning.
Then I remembered that when I had had my second child 4 years after my first, I asked the midwife in hospital how often I need to change her nappy, the midwife looked confused and said when she needs it. I felt really silly that I already had a child and that I really should know what to do with a new baby.
The same happened the other day when I was looking after my friendís son for a few minutes, he is 2 and I was going to order a coffee and toast in a cafe. He would not stand with me in the queue, if I picked him up he tried to squirm out of my arms, all he wanted to do was run about. I had totally forgotten how difficult the simplest tasks are when you have a toddler.
Of course I have realised since that there are so many people who feel like this, they forget so quickly what it is like and a new baby grows up so quickly you hardly notice the changes from what they need when they are first born. I guess forgetting some of those details, particularly the difficult ones is what makes you go on to have more children, if you remembered you might think twice!