Last night I was sandwiched between two little bodies in our big bed. As I cuddled both of my boys off to sleep, I knew the exact moment they had slipped into the land of nod and I was free to move them into their own beds.
While I could finally, FINALLY watch some Netflix, I stayed in that moment instead.
I gazed at their fanned eyelashes and sweet little noses. The line of my youngest’s cherub lips and the scruffiness of my big boy’s hair.
“I can’t forget THIS,” I told myself as I tried to imprint the memory of them falling asleep next to me in my heart.
It made me think about all the other ‘cherish this forever’ times we have with our little ones. All those moments that are so important to savour now because they’ll be gone before we know it.
Here is my very own motherhood moments bucket list. What else would you add?
1. Towel snuggles
Cherish all those times when you wrap a little body with drowned rat hair in a towel and squeeze cuddle him dry.
2. Rub your cheek on newborn hair
It’s so soft, so fuzzy, so new.
3. Cuddle swim
Before your little one learns how to swim on his own, savour the time when he clings to you like a koala in the shallow end of the pool.
4. Cubby hangs
Spend some time in your children’s cubby, instead of always reminding them to put the cushions and blankets away.
Better yet, read them a book in there by torchlight.
5. Night feeding solitude
Feeding your baby in the dead of night can feel incredibly lonely. But you aren’t. This time is sacred and is likely only shared by you and your baby.
Remember it as special. Because it is.
6. Bake together
Spend some time making a mess in the kitchen with your little love, instead of always just cleaning it up.
7. Watch them sleep
Time stands still when we gaze at our comatose sleeping children.
Do it, often.
8. Enjoy mindful hand holding
Clutch your little one’s hand today like it’s the first time. Feel the softness of his skin and the chubbiness of his fist. Think about how perfectly it nestles into yours.
How lucky you are just have that little hand to hold.
9. Breathe them in
When they are sleeping, playing, laughing, being cute, silly, sick, anything. Breathe them in.
All. The. Time.
10. Don’t always reach for the camera
Some moments are too fleeting to capture. Some are too beautiful not to enjoy.
Be IN the moment, rather than always recording it.
Hold it in your heart, instead.
11. Walk in the rain
Don raincoats and gumboots and explore the outdoors in the wet with your little love.
Splash in the puddles, watch the rain trickle down the storm water drains and just enjoy the wonder your child is feeling.
12. Visit their world
Spend time with your children in THEIR worlds. Build the train tracks and play with the engine, instead of folding the washing.
Ask your little love about dinosaurs and which are his favourite and why. Hang out with him in his world and enjoy the connection.
13. Scrap the routine every so often
Forget bedtimes and structure and enjoy a balmy night with your kids by taking your dinner to the park, just because.
They will remember this, as will you.
14. Go on some one-on-one dates
Spend time with each of your children alone. Have a special one-on-one date with each. Maybe once a month?
Make the time to make some ‘us’ memories.
15. Plant something
Plant some seeds with your little love and have him water them to watch them grow.
You’re also planting a memory of gardening with Mummy.
16. Let him lie on you
Most of the time, there are things to do. But sometimes the most important thing you have to do is to let your little one snooze on you.
Feel his heart beat with yours and just be, together.
17. Spend a lot of time on the floor
Lie on the floor with your baby, toddler, or preschooler.
Enjoy all the cuddles, giggles and play that happens THERE.
The floor is where it’s at.
18. Speak ‘boddler’ while you can
Cherish that little slice of transition time as your baby leaves babyhood behind and becomes a toddler – his period of ‘boddlerhood’. Converse with him in ‘boddler’. You understand his grunts, squeals and non-verbal communication best.
Before you know it, the words will spill out of him.
19. Be an armchair
There will come a time when their cute little bottoms no longer fit snugly in your lap.
Read them all the picture books before it’s too late!
20. Hang out across the road from a building site
Concrete trucks! Bob-cats! Real life Bob the Builders wheeling barrows and wearing tool belts!
For a short time in your child’s life, sitting across the road from a building site and watching all that building action is better than the Peppa Pig Christmas Special.
Enjoy doing this and you will always look fondly at construction sites and remember just how much your little one loved THAT time.
21. Take the special dolly out for a pram walk
Soon dolly will be replaced by some other obsession. In the meantime, take her for a walk with your little love around the neighbourhood..
The day is coming when the only place dolly will see is the toy box …
22. Bring some make-believe fun to the park
Pack some of your child’s favourite toys, like dino figurines, head outdoors and indulge their love in some pretend play while outside.
Better yet, make some Vegemite sandwiches to enjoy while you are roaring and giggling.
23. Camp in your lounge room
Pitch the tent in your living room, or make a cubby (with lots of air flow) and set up beds inside it.
Then spend the night ‘camping’ with your kids, revelling in the luxury of having the loo inside and zero mozzies.
24. Hold them tight
It goes without saying. But we can never give our little ones too many cuddles. Too many kisses. Too many ear whispers of, “I love you”.
Do this every single day.
25. Cuddle them off to sleep
Because one day they won’t need you to do this anymore.