By The Cheeky Doula
The journey to having children begins a little differently for everyone. Some parents are created after months or years or planning, waiting and hoping, some parents are created after making a firm decision and having wonderful luck and some people find themselves thrust into parenthood without having made a conscious thought about that particular journey. The point I want to make is that we so many times focus on having a baby, on becoming PREGNANT – that we may overlook that in fact, with a baby, parents are made.
Becoming a parent, to many, can seem simply like an easy transition, one that is an expected and natural occurrence. Others of us of however (myself included) would have appreciated the warning that it might have a bit more of a learning curve than first thought. There is a tremendous amount of pressure to ensure that you know everything as a parent – the choices and information surrounding birth alone could easily consume all 40 weeks of gestation! Not to worry – most of us parents are winging it and learning as we go. Really.
For us – my husband and myself – we were shocked that although we planned and were very excited to “have a baby” we were not prepared to actually be parents, is anyone really? So our learning curve took awhile. We were more than capable parents, but was it seamless, and ultra easy like on tv? NO WAY. We loved and cherished our little angel, but let me tell you – it was far from easy to find the confidence and know-how needed to make the never ending decisions. In fact three and a half years after her birth we are catching on that this IS parenthood, there is no right answer to every dilemma and concern, that instincts are more powerful than baby books and sometimes just making it up as you go really does work. Each child will present new interesting questions, challenges and endless joy to a family, and one day you may realize, this is what having a family is all about.
So my thoughts to you, mommy or daddy in the making, as your baby grows or is about to be conceived, so are you, the parent. Give yourself the tools to become a parent ( I am a huge fan of childbirth education classes that suit your personality and relationship beforehand), and if things get tough ask yourself “would I expect my baby to have all the answers?” Probably not. You are as seasoned a parent as your first child if you really think about it. Give yourself time to adjust and grow into being a parent, much like we allow our children to grow and learn – its kind of a team effort.
If I can share some wisdom – don’t be afraid to ask for help – recruit assistance if needed. Yes, google is a host of information, but sometimes actually having someone explain what pregnancy, birth and life with baby is all about is more effective. Have you thought about that baby registry – why not find someone that knows what you might actually NEED, things that will make life as a parents easier, healthier and lets face it – a bit more restful. If you were to start a new job that was completely foreign to you – I am willing to bet you’d find an expert in that field and start researching, discovering and asking for guidance. It can’t hurt right?
So congrats on being pregnant – on the conception of your new role of becoming a parent – there really is nothing like it! Entering into parenthood can feel a bit like a fraternity hazing – take it each task at a time, and don’t forget to take lots of pictures – its fun to see how far you’ve come together as that baby, and YOU his or her parents mature.