For the last week, I’ve been working on a project for a client, Care.com – we’ve been surveying parents about what it was like to be a new parent. You know, because there’s that small thing of a Royal Baby about to arrive…. ;)
I’m really pleased that so many people, papers and platforms are picking it up. But I wanted to take a moment to document here, just how Lovely Bloke and I felt when we became new parents. We couldn’t believe it. We really couldn’t believe that I had brought a baby into the world and that they were just going to let us take it home. Just like that. There’s more checks when we adopt a dog from the RSPCA !!! They just trusted us that we’d know what to do !!!!
I’m sorry for the overuse of exclamation marks here. It’s just still, 6 years later, we can’t believe that we didn’t have to pass a test to be allowed to bring that precious, small bundle home with us. So there’s no surprise that parents are excited – yes – the baby is here and we want to share it with you.
And there’s no surprise that yes, new parents see danger where they didn’t before – how dangerous can a sofa be??? New babies are amazing – they might not be able to crawl, but they can wriggle themselves off a sofa with an almighty bump that scares the living daylights out of you.
And yes, we do get given an awful lot of advice – both good and bad. But here’s the one thing that came from the survey that I want us all to take note of – that the best advice is to trust your instincts. When you become a mum or dad for the first time, you think “BUT I HAVE NO INSTINCT !!! WHERE CAN I BUY IT FROM?”
Parenting instinct is what gets you through in the middle of the night when you think you don’t know what to do with a baby that won’t stop crying. You wind it, you change the bum, you feed it, you wind again, you go out in the car, you dance, you soothe, and then, you give up and put the TV on and watch One Tree Hill repeats. And that baby then relaxes, because they know the theme tune (you’ve watched One Tree Hill throughout your pregnancy and thought no one knew about it) and guess what, they stop being fractious and go to sleep. It’s amazing, this thing called parenting instinct that no one knows they have.
So here’s to Kate and Will, who are about to start watching box sets of 24, the West Wing, Sex in the City, Dirty Money and maybe even some One Tree Hill …..