Tag Archives: motherhood

Top 5 Tips for New Parents

Royalist or not, as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (along with millions of other parents around the world), welcome their new bundle of joy into the world (and yes, I have a bet on the name!) I thought I would rake my brains to come up with a top 5 tip list.

When I had SC (just over 6 years now) there was all the build-up for 9 months and then there he was this tiny little human being that I was in charge of looking after and nurturing. It was very emotional – before they arrive you have absolutely no idea how much a child completely and utterly takes over your life. I was very much, before I had him, “Oh, I’ll be back working within a fortnight.” In reality the moment I held him against my chest a few seconds after he had been born I never wanted to leave him for one second, he was, and is so precious. I never wanted to miss a minute of him.

Children are a precious gift and from the moment they are born, we, as parents have a responsibility to raise them to becomes good, kind, thoughtful and responsible adults.

Parenthood doesn’t come from instruction manuals – no matter how many you read (and I read quite a few) – it’s a massive learning curve, especially with your first-born and we all make mistakes (I’ve made plenty) but if we do our best everything will turn out all right.

So here are my personal top 5 tips for new parents:

5.  They don’t break!

I remember when I first held SC how incredibly clumsy I felt. I was holding this tiny wriggling baby and it just felt as if every time I went to pick him up my hands had suddenly morphed into clown hands – you know where the hands are five times the size, just like those false ‘pointy finger’ hands people wear at Baseball games – and that if I picked him up wrongly he would somehow break like a china doll. It did take my midwife and my mum to reassure me that this wasn’t the case, and it really was just a case of practice makes perfect. Like changing a nappy and lifting up the legs to pop the clean one underneath the baby’s bottom – you are not going to do any harm lifting the feet up together in one hand…Oh yes, you do learn how to do many things one-handed – chopping vegetables is a positive art form one-handed!!

4.  Work Together

I was not fortunate enough to have a ‘hands on dad’, someone who would do his share of getting up early in the morning, or even just taking the baby out for a walk whilst I did a normal thing like take a shower! If you are that fortunate, you need to work together to find a routine that works for everyone – so that dad gets his fair share of changing nappies, and the early morning shift, but that he also gets to help out with the fun stuff like bath time and bed time routines. The early days are very testing for any new parents, mothers get very emotional around day 4/5 after the birth – the baby blue period – and the lack of sleep in the early days doesn’t help with tempers which is why being supportive and there for each other is vitally important in my opinion.

3.  Talk to your Baby

This might sound completely crazy, after all it’s a new-born baby, but read to your baby, talk to it, sing to it, make silly noises – it all helps with the bonding process. I started reading stories to SC the day he was born – I know he didn’t understand the stories (it was one of my favourite childhood books “The Tales of Blackberry Farm”) – but its the sound of your voice and the closeness that reading together creates. Even now, at the grand old age of 6 he will climb onto my lap with a book (we have progressed to Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn) and snuggle into my arms whilst I read, and he still has a story before he goes to bed. The other thing I used to do was have him facing me in his buggy, and talk to him whilst going round the shops about what I needed to buy – I swear everyone in the supermarket thought I was completely nuts, but all interaction is good interaction! And I used to sing to him, anytime! I would pop him lying on his back on my legs and sing nursery rhymes to him and then I would pop on my musical CDs and belt out showtunes…no wonder he has a penchant for them now (and ABBA and rock music!)

2.  Cuddles

Everyone loves cuddles and there’s no need to wait for an excuse to cuddle your baby! Cuddles are fab! Cuddles are part of the bonding process. I think I spent the first 2 years cuddling SC. Literally! If we weren’t playing, he would be in my arms whilst I was doing chores. He fell asleep being cuddled. And now, we have a morning cuddle routine where I sit on the floor and he rushes from one end of the room to me and jumps onto my lap and we give each other the biggest cuddles ever, and a night-time cuddle routine, and then after-school cuddles and plain old ‘jus cos’ cuddles. Children will grow out of cuddling parents all to soon so you need to get a lifetimes worth into a short space!

1.  Trust Your Instincts

My top tip is to trust your instincts. You know your baby better than anyone. Everyone will be all too happy to give their own opinion and advice. You will read far too many text books. But trust me, no two babies are the same. Use advice, opinions and parenting books as a guideline only. Trust yourself. New parents feel under so much pressure to get things right, they feel a failure if their baby doesn’t sleep through the night within 8 weeks (it can take longer believe me! My empathy kicks in at a year, sympathy at 3, mine didn’t sleep through the night til he was 4!) You are made to feel a failure if you don’t breastfeed, if you don’t employ the ‘crying technique’, if you wean too soon, or too late, or you don’t take them to every single toddler group under the sun! Every child is different and you are the best judge of what is right for your child. Trust your instincts, they won’t fail you!

 

I lay no claim to be an expert. I am not a perfect mum. I make mistakes – I wouldn’t be human if I didn’t. But I do the best job I can. I love SC more than anything and can’t imagine life without him now.

It is a hard job, the hardest job you will ever do voluntarily! You will get stressed, anxious, cross, vexated, tired, emotionally spent, I could go one, but ultimately it is the one thing that will give you the most joy and happiness in the world!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Top 10

When God Created Mothers…

This is a poem I found by Erma Bombeck and American humourist, who wrote a newspaper column depicting suburban home life from the mid-1960s.Renaissance Madonna & Child

This poem is very clever and witty but more to the point very true!

When God Created Mothers

When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said. “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.”

And God said, “Have you read the specs on this order?

  • She has to be completely washable, but not plastic.
  • Have 180 moveable parts…all replaceable.
  • Run on black coffee and leftovers.
  • Have a lap that disappears when she stands up.
  • A kiss that can cure anything from a broken leg to a disappointed love affair.
  • And six pairs of hands.”

The angel shook her head slowly and said. “Six pairs of hands…. no way.”

“It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,” God remarked, “it’s the three pairs of eyes that mothers have to have.”

“That’s on the standard model?” asked the angel. God nodded.

“One pair that sees through closed doors when she asks, ‘What are you kids doing in there?’ when she already knows. Another here in the back of her head that sees what she shouldn’t but what she has to know, and of course the ones here in front that can look at a child when he goofs up and say. ‘I understand and I love you’ without so much as uttering a word.”

“God,” said the angel touching his sleeve gently, “Get some rest tomorrow….”

“I can’t,” said God, “I’m so close to creating something so close to myself. Already I have one who heals herself when she is sick…can feed a family of six on one pound of hamburger…and can get a nine year old to stand under a shower.”

The angel circled the model of a mother very slowly. “It’s too soft,” she sighed.

“But tough!” said God excitedly. “You can imagine what this mother can do or endure.”

“Can it think?”

“Not only can it think, but it can reason and compromise,” said the Creator.

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek.

“There’s a leak,” she pronounced. “I told You that You were trying to put too much into this model.”

“It’s not a leak,” said the Lord, “It’s a tear.”

“What’s it for?”

“It’s for joy, sadness, disappointment, pain, loneliness, and pride.”

You are a genius, ” said the angel.

Somberly, God said, “I didn’t put it there.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Children, Friday Poem, life

I lie with you until you are asleep – A Sonnet

I found the link to this in my twitter feed this morning. It is from http://www.the-mule.com/2012/09/i-lie-with-you-until-you-are-asleep.html blog and it is the most beautiful poem I have ever read about what being a parent means:

I lie with you until you are asleep

I lie with you until you are asleep,
Ten minutes, twenty, thirty, often more,
Clocks tick, frustration builds, yet still I keep,
And stay with you on your side of the door.
Out there, my old life tempts, a voice cries, “Fail!”,
And tells me there are better things to do,
The world shrinks down, we both exhale,
And drift together, touching souls, we two.
In age, perhaps, you’ll do the same for me,
And hold my papery hand, and stroke my hair,
You’ll know the worth of love’s proximity,
The gift we give by simply being there.
A final kiss, a sigh, a comfort deep:
I lie with you until you are asleep

 

It’s the most wonderful thing to watch your children drift off to dreamland, cuddled up in your arms. SC has gone off to sleep this way since the day he was born. And, yes, even after he has drifted off and I attempt to extricate my arm as quietly as possible, I always give him a kiss and tell him how much I love him.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Children

Life was one long worry for Mr Worry!

… and me!

I’m a born worrier. I worry and stress about everything and anything.

Even when I’m supposed to be relaxing, I’m worrying, or worse still thinking. Sometimes I think I do too much thinking. Always have conversations with myself in my head.

And when I worry, I get anxious and end up getting snappy. Maybe it’s just that I have no one to talk too!

So, here goes. I worry about:

  • where my life is heading;
  • my business;
  • whether I will ever actually make a profit;
  • letting my child down;
  • whether I’m doing a good job at being a mother;
  • old age;
  • being alone;
  • not fitting in;
  • not making the most of myself, my talents and my abilities;
  • failing;
  • whether people like me;
  • my health;
  • my child’s education;
  • my child’s future;
  • not having anyone to talk to;
  • taking a chance on anything – life, love, etc;
  • letting other people down;
  • what people think of me;
  • what to do for the best;
  • wanting what I can’t have;
  • wasting too much time by daydreaming;
  • money, or rather lack of;
  • the future;
  • the past;
  • the present;

I worry about everything!

Leave a comment

Filed under life