When I think about having my first child, and yes, I had one and then seventeen months later had number two child, I remember questioning myself, how is this going to be possible to take care of one, much less two? Not quite twins, as our son and daughter-in-law just had and did not have the luxury (for lack of a better word) of having one very special child as "the child" for coming up four years as our daughter has had because it really doesn't matter the number and the order when they are born. There is still a fear that creeps in to a mother's psyche of what do I do now? Where is the parent manual?
My Mom came up to to help with my first born child. She was there for two weeks. She helped in the middle of the night and before it was time for her to go back this infant was sleeping through the night from 9 or 10 pm all the way until 7 am. She taught me how to swaddle, she sang, she rocked and I watched, learned and listened.
Then it was time for her to go back home to her life, one thousand miles away. And that is when I felt like all hell broke loose. For real! True, I know that I can be the drama queen, yet this was my reality because it was my perception. This sweet precious infant screamed and cried all the time. I rocked, I swaddled, I sang, I danced with her snuggled in to me. All I could ask is what was I doing wrong?
Would you (especially, if you are a new parent or know someone who is) like to know the secret? Infants can truly pick up on what is happening around them. This baby knew that I was scared to death that I would do something wrong and picked up on my fear. It took me about two weeks to realize this and to take charge of what was going on. The key is to KEEP CALM.
There is no parent manual. Yes, you can get all kinds of books on babies and what to do for this and what to do for that. During the Stone Ages, my go to book was Dr. Spock. And even Dr. Spock did not know it all. You know your baby best of all.
So today, I am going to bullet some interesting little tidbits to remember:
- Know that your baby will teach you more than you ever will teach them
- You know your baby best and always trust your gut feeling
- Share with others going through the same as you are to help you realize you are not alone
- There is always a consistency in having routines
- Celebrate the milestones
- Always remember to take care of yourself
- Be flexible
- Comparing will do more harm than good
- Keep a sense of humor and don't be afraid to laugh at yourself (outloud!)
- There is no such thing as the perfect parent - be the parent that loves unconditionally
- See things through your child's eyes, as if for the very first time (it is for them)
There are books and books out there with many more little tidbits that focus in on specific information that you may want or need to know. These that I listed are just a broad overview to help new parents and parents that are going through the toddler stages all the way through their school years. After that, there is a whole new phase that at this time, I had really rather not get in to just now. We shall save that for another time. Smile - laugh - love - and HAVE FUN!