Nothing can prepare you for this! It’s a hurricane! The hardest job in the world! I didn’t sleep for months… the sleep deprivation really knocked me… I was exhausted, tired, fed up, stressed…. breastfeeding was horrific – it didn’t work for me… it’s relentless….
Does parenting really need to be like this? Does it need to be hard?
Let’s reflect back a few hundred years… we probably gave birth at home and raised our children in small communities surrounded by our families and possibly communities linked up by the church, local village hall, and neighbours. We had local people to look after us, to go to the shops for us, to cook meals for us and we might have had access to wet nurses – probably in the shape of our sisters, cousins, sisters in law and other extended families. We had people all around us and we’d get access to advice about how to raise our children from those people. I’m sure life wasn’t idyllic and they didn’t have washing machines, tumble dryers, electric ovens etc etc so I’m not totally naive but we did have people around us, listening to us, supporting us, cooking for us and generally were in small tight knit communities.
Now, we often birth in hospital, we get home, often on our own with our partners and we don’t know where to start. We are often isolated, with some support from the community midwives but little else. Having a babymoon isn’t on our agenda as we are so used to rushing around and being busy it feels a bit lazy sitting around and doing nothing but looking after our baby and it’s also very lonely. We feel this need to be getting out and showing our baby off. Someone recently said to me she feels that mums often over exaggerate their birth as they are desperate for someone to listen to them and acknowledge what they’ve been through and are going through. I’m sure I did that.
We might be lucky with an easy baby who is feeding well, but often we aren’t and it can be hard. Really hard. Our partners return to work and we’re left all day in this endless conveyor belt of feeds, nappies, crying and trying to get our babies to sleep AND still recovering ourselves for this massive physical change. Looking after a baby isn’t difficult, but it’s relentless and tiring and so very hard because we are doing it ON OUR OWN. Parenting on our own is tough. Between sore nipples, no sleep and a crying baby – it can be very hard.
But does it need to be like that? Does is need to be so hard? Do we need to go through this rite of passage to be a good parent?
I for one, don’t believe it does. We need to start ‘wising’ up and really considering what we can do to start enjoying being a parent. What can you do in your pregnancy to be ready? What support can you get to enjoy it? How can your partner and you work as a team so you both can enjoy your baby as well as still be you? How can you plan to have a better birth so we have an easier time recovering from it? How can you get access to good breastfeeding support so you don’t have sore nipples and you know you’re doing it right? Where can you find time to sleep? How can you give yourself permission to let go and have that babymoon – to realise by doing ‘nothing’ we are doing so much for our baby by learning to tune into them and enjoying them.
Preparing for Parenting is here to help you to develop your own ways to find positive, gentle solutions for that time with your baby so you can ENJOY being a parent. It shifts away all the negativity and really gives you a plan and helps you to know the times it’s going to be hard and how to make it easier. It’s here for both mum and dad either individually or together.
And of course, Bump, Birth and Baby support will give you one-to-one support all the way through.
If you’d like to know more about either service, you can contact me or else come along to meet me at Babies and Bumps cafe in Morningside, every Monday 10am-11.30am, where you have the opportunity to ask me any question. Don’t forget to sign up to my newsletter to receive 52 Ways to Prepare for Parenting and a FREE birth plan toolkit.
Much love, Tricia xx