YOU NEED TO KNOW: I absolutely believe there is no one way to parent. Every family is different and every child, and that’s a beautiful thing. I encourage you to parent the way you feel is right and the way you feel will work for your family at the time in which you’re at. Parenting is hard work, friends; let’s choose only to encourage each other and walk alongside each other, babies in one arm and laundry baskets in the other…
At the time I was heading back to work after mat leave, bubba was still breastfeeding, having never taken a bottle (me never really have gotten the hang of pumping or more honestly never having given it a good go). Because of this and the fact that he was a relatively peaceful baby, we took him everywhere and, save an hour or two here and there, him and I were inseparable. At night, although he would go down (fully asleep in a milk coma mind you) in his crib, he would be up a few short hours later when we hopped in ourselves and I would bring him into our bed, give him a boob, and we’d all drift off to sleep, and even still he’d wake every few hours for a feed or snuggle.
So. The thought of going back to work for me (shiftwork at that) was, not overwhelming per se, but oh how I longed for someone I could talk with who had parented a similar way and who could encourage me through it. So important hey to have someone tell you, look – I did it, you can do it, and you’ll do so well. And after asking friends and searching the internet, I found one lovely mum with a similar parenting style who told me just that. She listened to me through my tears, encouraged me, and, being a few kids ahead of us, gave me an example of someone who had made it through. Funny how looking back things often don’t seem like a big deal, but in the moment they’re a huge change with many unknowns and what ifs.
And guys, James and his daddy did great. I eased in, working a few 8 hour shifts, then 12s, then nights; bubba took a cow’s milk bottle right away; he slept for his daddy, then his grandma, then auntie; and my two boys get this sweet daddy son bonding time which is such a gift.
So, friends, who has been a step ahead of you and encouraged you along your way? Comment below, then share the link with them, send them an email, or thank them in person so they can be encouraged as well!
And to the new mum or the newlywed: I’m far from having all the answers but I’d love to share more of our story and hear yours; feel free to comment here or send me an email by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org.