In my first few months of becoming a mother, it was a blur of mornings, evenings, night times, days, and weeks all becoming one.
At times it felt incredibly long and arduous, as if I’d never quite break through the dark cloud to the light at the other side.
During this time, people would tell me: “Don’t wish the time away because they will grow up before you know it.”
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And while this advice irked me beyond belief at the time, and still even now, unfortunately, it does have a few kernels of truth within it.
For me and my eldest daughter, it’s not that her actual biological years have flown by, it is her development into a woman that is already happening and definitely before I was expecting it.
She is an eight-year-old girl, in the early stages of puberty and has been since she was six.
As a parent, realising that this is occurring - and much earlier than I anticipated - is quite confronting. Despite reading up on puberty and its stages and discovering that early puberty is actually quite common, it's still something I wasn’t quite expecting or wanting to happen.
There was a part of me that wanted just a few more years of my girl being a little girl.
A little girl that didn’t have to worry about things happening to her body and everything that this meant. I had wished that she could stay in a little bubble of innocence where her biggest concern was what to take in for Show and Tell or whether to choose gymnastics or the trampoline centre for her next birthday party.
For me, early puberty meant readjusting my perception of my daughter - accepting that my little girl is changing in oh-so-many ways and will continue to do so now until she is no longer a little girl at all but a woman.
It is working out the best way to deal with the questions, the discussions and the challenges that will arise and how I can help make this experience as positive and supported as it can be.
Like my daughter, I too was an early bloomer.