We went all out for our baby girl’s first birthday | Cheryl Gibbs

Our baby is one.

Thursday, 11th February 2021, 4:30 pm
Cheryl's daughter, Harley, celebrated her first birthday on February 6.

I can’t believe we’ve survived a whole year and I say a collective ‘we’ because she had to survive us too – new parents who didn’t have a clue what had hit them.

Together, as a new unit, we got through a year and a year that will go down in history as one of the toughest years in modern history. Yet for us, it was one of the best years of our life.

We celebrated Harley Winter Lorraine Kingston turning one on Saturday by doing what we’ve always done this last year and that’s being together – the three of us, trying to make the best of each day.

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Matt and I assembled (with great difficulty I might add) a pink balloon arch and decorated our lounge and dining room with banners and party accessories.

I bought her a special tutu outfit without realising that Matt’s dad and step-mum had also bought her a tutu outfit (but theirs was better because it came complete with a personalised ‘Harley is One’ vest top which she wore all day) so she naturally had an outfit change half-way through the day.

Despite Matt’s OCD, he set up a sandpit toy station in our kitchen and while we tried to contain the sand by putting it in an empty paddling pool, the sand went absolutely everywhere – and I mean everywhere.

Harley loved it. Matt did not.

We did a ‘smash the cake’ photoshoot that gave her a sugar rush and then a crash. She had an epic light show playtime and bubble display bath.

The girl had a party without the actual party (if that makes sense) and as new parents, we did the best we could in very difficult circumstances to make it a memorable one.

We were flooded with cards. I’m pretty sure the postal delivery service must think I have a shopping addiction because barely a day went by over the course of a week where a package and parcel arrived for her from friends and family who couldn’t visit her on the day. It was a wonderful birthday and I counted our blessings because they are blessings – every minute of that day, that she’s ours and has been for a whole year.

Happy birthday sweetheart. You make mummy and daddy complete.

Being part of a parenting group brings me so much joy​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Being part of a new mum group is amazing for so many reasons.

We’ve only known each other since we all joined the same pregnancy and parenting group a couple of months before our babies were born and we’ve watched each other grow as parents and families.

They’ve been my absolute rock through the hard times; the tears and anxieties and 4am ‘is anyone else up’ queries. They’ve shared the delight in photos, videos and ‘firsts’. I genuinely couldn’t have done all of this without them. It’s a friendship which has been solidified because of Covid and I urge any new mummies or daddies-to-be to join a group.

I have no doubt they’ll be friends for life.

It’s nice to be congratulated for doing well as a mother

Harley had her one-year-old jabs at the doctors this week (I now realise my entire column this week has been dedicated to Harley and baby issues – sorry).

I swear there must be a note on the system about me because the nurses and staff are so extra-cautious and caring when they talk to me (I’m sure they’re just really nice people anyway).

I think when they see our file, there must be a flashing warning saying: ‘ over-anxious parent – treat with caution.’

They congratulated me for keeping calm during Harley’s injections (she had four , two on each leg) and pretty much all the staff there know who she is.

Good grief, my reputation clearly precedes me... ​​​​​​​