Kathryn Boyde of Katzrambles is this week’s winner of iBlog Friday. Congratulations Kathryn! Your prize is in the mail.
This week Kathryn shares her advice on taking care of a newborn baby, and it’s not what you’d expect.
Looking back, if I could describe the feeling of being a new parent in one word it would be this: OVERWHELMED.
Sure, there were moments of joy, amazement, wonder and all those warm fuzzy feelings but overriding all this was the feeling of being overwhelmed: Overwhelmed by the enormous responsibility of this little life who was completely dependent on me; overwhelmed by the pressure of feeling like I needed to have all the answers and overwhelmed by the disappointment I felt when I thought I was getting it all wrong.
So, like any good student, I armed myself with all the latest ‘parenting textbooks’ and crammed the words into my head so hard that I could memorise the contents off-by-heart – hoping that when the ultimate test arouse i.e. figuring out why the baby was crying, I would be 100% ready with the right answer.
As you can imagine, this is not what happened. Unlike a school exam that you can cram for and be assured to get most answers correct, parenting was nothing vaguely similar. Nobody could tell me what to do and what was best for my baby – although they definitely tried! – because in the end parenting is a learning process and one where the best you can do is use your common-sense and trust your instincts.
So, after that lengthy introduction, I will get to the point. In my mind the must-have item for all new parents is this: EAR-PLUGS!
No, not to drown out the baby’s cries (although this may prove helpful if ‘controlled crying’ is your cup of tea) but instead to block out other people’s opinions!
Yes, I said it! Although often well-meaning, other people’s opinions about your parenting are often more detrimental than helpful to your emotional well-being as a new parent.
I remember being mortified when my milk supply ran out at 6 weeks. I felt like I had a dirty secret that I couldn’t share. I didn’t show up to my Plunket appointment for fear of a lecture, I tried to hide away when feeding my baby a bottle in public and when I asked other mums for advice I just ended up feeling worse. As the kids have got older I have experienced opinions about other aspects of parenting; toilet-training, dummies, sleep habits, speech - the list goes on!