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Letter to my pregnant sister on the birth of her first child…

 

two women, pregnant woman,

So here  you are on the verge of a new and exciting  journey in your life and even if you think you might be prepared for this journey that you are about to take, well you’re not and in some way you can never be until the moment is upon you. I don’t mean to sound negative or unsupportive in saying that, my only goal it to be supportive in my own unique way that only I can be….  But here is something that I wish someone told me way back when, and I hope you find it useful…. And if you don’t well that’s ok because remember it is your journey no one else’s.

Books – first off all the books on child birth and you baby’s first year…. Do yourself a favor just read something else instead! Don’t get me wrong it is always wise to know what could happen if your child was born in a bubble that  was just like all the other children in the world… but children are not born in bubbles and really don’t come with instructions. It is about the relationship you build with your child that will teach you the most about your child and your gut. If you focus on those two things alone you will be ok. And if you really insist on reading a book there is only one you need the Baby Book by William Sears. But remember it is only a guide…it is your gut and your child that will teach you more.

Work – you work life will take a bigger back seat to your child than you think right now…as it should. You cannot predict how much you will want to work away from your child once they are born, only you will know that once the time comes. Don’t lock yourself in to anything right now, just be aware you might have to adjust your plans and be ok with that.  If you are not happy and comfortable with what you are doing it will show. Don’t get me wrong I’m fully aware that we all have to work, I get that. But do what is right for you not what you feel you are obligated to do. Life will go on, but do what is best for you and your baby.

Childcare – find someone you trust, find them early and make sure you connect with them. It will just make life feel better and help out in many areas. I have had my child with people I connected with and people I did not connect with. For me, it is the connection that made all the difference. The times I had the connection I could go to work and feel better: I was a better worker and a better mother. Remember it is the connection and not the price tag that makes the difference, at least it is for me.

Food – well do your best.  The bottom line is that no matter how good you try to feed your kid, they will like what they like…. bottom line. Try to work with them, but remember, do you like to be forced to eat stuff you don’t like…. Just saying. Your kid will figure it out or not, but I promise they will eat fruits and vegetables at some point…just probably not for you.

Cloth dippers – well I know you will not use them but I will just say this… if you use them instead of paper diapers you will save enough money to take a vacation…… I know you like Mexico in January.

All those “I will never do when I’m a parent” ideas – well those are great thoughts to have and I encourage you to have them. But word to the wise those ideas will change once you have the baby in your arms, not all at once but they will change. I think I held on to my last one till my son was about 4 and a half. Oh well, they were great ideas but they were not always practical and when I made them I did not always really take into consideration my child who, after all, is now a real part of the mix. It happens to everyone even if they don’t admit it.

Bottom line, have fun and you will not always get every thing right. Sometimes you will get things wrong, but that is how you grow and how your child grows. The world is far from perfect, you are far from perfect and your child will not be perfect either, even if you will never admit that. But you know that is ok you, will do fine and your child will grow up to be ok no matter what happens.  A lot of unplanned things will happen, keep going!

Parenthood is only an adventure that gets better with time.

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