Becoming a parent was a dream of mine since I was 4 years old. By the time I was 4 and a half, I had already chosen my four daughters’ names. I also had a boy’s name on reserve… just in case! When my first child arrived—a little boy—I gave him “ Name”.
Before he was born, I had views about how I would do things. It was so easy to judge new mothers and imagine how much better I would manage. For example, pacifiers were a definite no-no (turns out three out four used them, and one of them for a long time!). I was also determined to breastfeed for six to nine months, but that did not turn out quite like that (I barely made it to 8 weeks).
That’s when reality strikes you with a —life with a newborn is not as easy as it looks on Instagram. Sure, it’s adorable to be twinning pajamas with your newborn—but that lasts just the time to take the picture before the baby spits up on himself and you!
What I did learn relatively quickly was that you must listen to your instinct above anything else. If you feel that something is not right then chances are you are right. When unsolicited advice is given to you, it is not necessary to accept it if you are not convinced. As time has gone by and life has made me less fragile, I have learnt that what people think really doesn’t matter. As long as I do the best I can and use common sense, I know I will have no regrets. Whether you use a long, rectangular, organic swaddling cloth or a square one from the supermarket really doesn’t matter!
This brings me to revelation! My parents had their first child when they were younger than I was when I had my first son, and the information available to them was not as abundant as what we have access to today. Basically, they had no idea what they were doing, but deep down I know that they did their best. A generation on, that is exactly what I am trying to do—my best.