Number One

It’s almost impossible to convey the absolute shift in the very essence of yourself that comes when having your first child isn’t it? That first child, number one, who changed everything. What can you ever say to your first child that would let them know all that they have done to/for you? I always think about the change from pre-Mum Beth and post-Mum Beth on Daisy’s birthday, which in this case is today, 11 years ago.

Here I was all innocent and “exhausted” 11 years ago yesterday.

God I had NO clue about what was going to go down the next day. And every day from then on. NONE! From that first contraction, to the 3 hours of pushing, the bursting of every blood vessel in my chest and neck and face, the episiotomy, and hearing that cry for the first time nothing was ever the same again. Ever.

That poor first child that has to deal with so much. All the anxiousness and nervousness and lack of confidence from their parents. The worry! No other kid is ever going to get as much worry as number one. The bad breastfeeding, the over stimulation ALL OF THE FIRST TIME NEWBORN STUFF that poor number one never asked for, and gets lumped with.

Number one who has to grow up probably quicker than they’d like when number two arrives. Who is expected to be able to move on from things, stop this or that, just plain get on with things when you become even more overwhelmed with more kids and life with kids stuff.

They go through everything first, fumbling their way as you do too, from eating solids, walking, toddlerhood, toilet training, moving to a big bed, Preschool, school…they do it first because they have to, being number one.

Our number one is growing up. This morning she turned 11 and on she goes into the world, doing all the things first for us as a family as we head into tween and teenage years and all that brings with it.

She got her plate last week which she will have for 6 months before braces, again doing it all for the first time as we fumble our way through in denial that we even have a kid who is big enough for all this stuff already. She is in her final year of Primary School, as school leader, taking it all in her stride as she tackles it with confidence and good humour, all the while missing her friends who have all moved onto Highschool.

She helps out so much around the house and particularly with her baby sister. I literally would not be able to do everything I do without Daisy helping me with Maggie, who adores her like another Mum. She is loving and patient, so caring to those younger than her. Except maybe Harper.

She thanks us for so much, all the time, every day. Without being asked, or pushed to. Suddenly she seems to get all that we do and she genuinely feels gratitude and love. All those years and she’s getting it. What a wonderful thing to hear your children say to us and to others around them.

For me personally, as a Mum, the day that she arrived changed everything in me. A complete change in the identity of me, about what was important and who I now was. At times that didn’t come easily for me as I fought against it, got frustrated by it, challenged it but always loved it no matter how tired or cranky I was.

And now she’s 11. And I have been a Mum for 11 years. And while I am still fumbling my way through I know that she has given me more than she could ever know, just by being here. How can you thank them? Possibly begin to tell them?

My first baby.
My teacher.
My reflection.
My daughter.
My number one who changed everything.

Happy Birthday sweet girl x


  1. Your words are magic Beth, you couldn’t have written this at a better time. I’m sitting here anxiously waiting on news for my number one son and his wife to give birth to their number one. The one who is going to change their life forever. The waiting is the worst. Hope Daisy has a lovely birthday.

  2. Beth
    These beautiful words really struck a cord. It made me wonder – is this what I was to my mum? We had 50 years together and lots of firsts too!


  3. Beautiful words.xx

  4. Happy Birthday Daisy 🌼

  5. Happy Birthday and You are lucky Daisy chose you and Rob to be her parents and you are truly lucky to have such a gorgeous daughter, or 3 of them I should say, You have dont well mum.x

  6. Beautifully expressed. Feelings for our precious children run so deep. I hope Daisy has a lovely birthday.

  7. I have 3 children 34, 31 and 29 all grown with families of their own and doing well. They are the best thing I have ever done! I have recieved so much love from them. My finest achievement. ❤

  8. I to have a daughter that turned 11 recently. Your words brought tears to my eyes. They are very special our first born girls.

  9. thank you I just read that to my number 1 who is 13 , she is wise beyond her years and she said to her sister gee you need to listen to that too ahahahahah . Its true and I often tell them I haven’t ‘done’ this parenthood gig mum thing before so sometimes I struggle just like they do but a challenge is good when you get through to the rewards

    Happy birthday to your no 1.

  10. Beautiful words and happy birthday to your girl and to you as her parents. In Holland it’s tradition to congratulate parents on their children’s birthday which makes so much sense, such a epic day for everyone!

  11. All that, AND… she is so. freaking. gorgeous. :-0

  12. very insightful thank you beth!
    I’m a first born and I only had one child!
    I get them very well!
    I hope daisy looks after daisy too!
    much love mx

  13. So well said Beth. My little chicken. My first. She will be turning 10 in July. I totally get your note. I relished my last day with Lily before we had Ben. She was 4 and she was my little shadow. Both my kids mean the world to me but watching and helping the first lead the way is just awesome. One thing – Lily actually got her expanding plate put on today. She was a legend but she’s not happy and not interested in eating and is speaking with a massive lisp (very cute). Just want to know how Daisy is feeling now? Cheers, Ali

    • She still has a strong lisp (its been 2 weeks tomorrow that she got it) but she’s been not embarrassed about it all! I have been amazed at how confident she has been – I think it’s the smaller school and the fact that a few girls in precious years have been down this road. I think its take a good month to all settle down. Good luck to your Lily xx

  14. Annie Maurer says

    Beautiful words Beth. My number one, also a girl is now heading towards 26 and sounds very much like your beautiful Daisy. She has always been an old soul. I hope she reads this as she follows you too. Happy belated Birthday Daisy.🎂

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