I don't think it's a coincidence that around the same time that your baby starts to walk around furniture and stand on his own, you find your feet again. Regardless of how many children you have, the first year after birth requires so much patience and adjustment - it really is life-changing for every member of the family. But as the first birthday approaches there's this profound moment of gratitude - we did it! We made it! We're ok! It's a major milestone that deserves a long, releasing exhalation and at least two slices of cake. In a few weeks time we'll celebrate Percy's 1st Birthday and while I can't quite wrap my head around the fact that he's been here a whole year, I am noticing a distinct sense of relief that that accompanies this stage. As he starts to gain momentum; reaching, climbing and getting prepared to take his first steps, I find some breathing space. Of course, he crawls back before long and clings tight when perched on my hip but there's been a leap forward that can't be ignored. I can leave the house for a few hours at a time and he's happy without me and will, on occasion, fall asleep without a feed (during the day, haven't quite conquered the night, yet). He can play with blocks and books and toy cars and while it may only be twenty minutes of space I can get a lot done in that time. I can only describe this stage as being a little lighter and freer than the last. There's a sense of opportunity that awaits as we all put our best foot forward into the second year; revelling in first steps and words before we launch into the throes of toddler tantrums and toilet training.