12 January 2011

When Things Are Not So New

Everyone loves a newborn baby. When I hear a friend has had a baby, I know I'm always so excited. The miracle of birth mixed with the excitement of the potential are awesome and amazing. Seeing that new face, that new person and wondering what and who they are, always stirs deep emotions within. For any new parent, the arrival of a new life is filled with excitement as well as nervousness. The journey from baby to child and onto adolescence and adulthood is a long, interesting and bumpy ride.

Before I had a child, I thought I knew what the journey would be like. I had seen friends go before me and had spent many hours nannying and babysitting. I remember my own Mum with my youngest sister Michelle. When I was pregnant, I thought I knew what was to come. I had read the books, gone to the classes, spoken with others. I had visited friends and even thought I could offer new parents advice. Despite this, until I had actually walked the road, I had no idea. Nothing could have prepared me for this journey. Even so, the path I have walked is not the same as others. Every parent and child walks their own path, takes their own journey.

When a baby is new, everyone is interested. They all want to see you, see the baby, hold the baby, smell the newness. All the attention can be lovely and at times overwhelming. What people tend to forget is that the journey continues well after the baby is just new. If anything, things get harder before they get easier.

Layla (in her Love Me Baby Wrap Me Up) and I - Week 1

For those of you with friends or family with a new baby, remember that your help and support will be needed for a long time after the baby is just new. It is so important to call, visit, bring a meal and check up on the new parents well after the birth. When Layla was 8 weeks old, my friends helped out by providing me with meals for two weeks. It came when I really needed it. When I was really tired, dealing with a growth spurt and totally overwhelmed by the experience. It was this kind of ongoing help that was most needed and most appreciated. It was these friends that truly helped me on my journey.

So remember that the journey continues well after things are new. The experience is all consuming - emotionally, physically, mentally and time. Your ongoing help and support counts for more the longer the journey continues.

1 comment:

  1. Good advice Jas. Lots of our friends are having babies this year. Must remember to keep giving them support as the weeks go on!