Your front door shuts with a thud as your husband leaves to get some provisions. All was quiet, your new baby was asleep in his cot but immediately the door shuts his screams fill the room. His cries radiate around you, louder than you’ve heard before.
You suddenly feel very alone, does he need feeding? Is he in pain? Your hands tremble as you reach to lift him and hold him to you, but still he screams? You’re feeling tired and very alone, why do you feel so bewildered and tearful? You reach for your phone to call your mother… Your new way of life has begun.
One thing to remember: a relaxed calm Mum makes for a calm happy baby and a much easier more enjoyable experience.
If you are a single child yourself, parenting can feel particularly daunting; especially if you have little experience of being with children, or dealing with problem areas.
When I had my first child in hospital, I was amazed how nervous many of the new Mums were to handle their babies. At one point we were given a lesson on bathing babies, some of the women were terrified. This experience, and the conversation on “Loose Women” a current ITV television program, about how lost most of them felt with their first-born, prompted me to write this article and possible others too!
Why was I surprised, well I was the eldest of five children, and practical by nature. I was used to seeing my mother bath and feed babies. Everything seemed effortless so I expected that to be the norm.
Fear and anxiety can easily be picked up by your baby and make them tetchy. They, like all humans pick up cues from body language a bit like the instinctive behaviour we see in animals. Usually we get what we expect to happen, so have confidence in your ability, expect to be a great parent, and listen to your gut instincts, stay calm and you will soon learn how to nurture your baby
When I had my three children we also welcomed into our family two foster children, I took this in my stride. Looking back I guess it was quite an undertaking as the family had suddenly grown to seven, with five children under 5 years! My husband worked away much of the time and then I couldn’t even drive. So you will soon adapt to your new challenges too.
In later articles I will share some simple strategies that I found made life easier, with happier children; they could do the same for you. I did have nursing experience before having children which may have helped me, and I later became an infant teacher, and grandmother; so I have been surrounded by children for much of my life.
The final thing I would say is the youngsters have all turned out to be happy, healthy, successful adults with great families of their own. So Try and relax and you baby will too making everything easier and more enjoyable for you both.