Being a parent is the hardest job I have ever done. In fact it isnt even a job as you don’t get paid for looking after your own children. But it is the most rewarding and amazing thing I have ever done, but nothing prepared me for being a Mum. Nurofen for Children asked me to share with you when I first started feeling confident as a parent. Well for me that took quite a while and had a lot to do with me stopping comparing my child to books and others and started to concentrate on my parenting milestones.
Research by Nurofen for Children shows that on average, it takes a first time mum an average of six months to feel confident as a parent. Well let me tell you that my the time Maxi was six months old, he had already been hospitalised twice and nearly died and I was pregnant again with Mini! I certainly didn’t did not feel confident as a parent.
I think a lot of my insecurity as a parent came from having a child that suffered from colic and a tongue tie. Maxi did nothing but cry for the first 16 weeks of his life. I tried rocking him, co-sleeping, baby massage, slings, swings, different milk, ear phones for me, colief, infacol, cuddling him, pushing him around for hours in the pram and a cranial osteopath. None of which were a magic solution. The cranial osteopath was a big help, but it wasn’t a total solutions, in fact there was no one solution. I cried every day for the first 16 weeks of Maxi’s life and then he became unwell and I continued crying.
I entered parenthood under the impression that nothing much in my life would change. I was a perfectionist that was used to organising everything and it took me six months to realise that Maxi didnt listen to me, he laughed in the face of my organisation. It was only when I realised that nothing could get any worse that I started to trust my instincts, especially as I knew that Maxi was ill and had taken him to the hospital earlier in the day only to be told that he was just suffering with a cold.
It was then that I started asking for help. I asked my sister in law and brother if we could tag along with their christening and have a joint christening for my niece and Maxi and they said yes. I realised that it was futile to compare my wonderful child with the others in my antenatal group and start concentrating on my parenting milestones.
We both managed to get through the day without any tears – Whoop!
I managed to get a full night sleep thanks to MadDad spending the night in with Maxi – Yipee.
I didn’t feel the need to get up at 5am to do the ironing and keep the house spotless – Result.
I trusted by instinct, so that when Maxi became unwell again, I insisted on a hospital visit and he was admitted.
These might not sound like big steps, but for me they were massive. I stopped worrying that Maxi had never slept through the night (hell, he was 11 months before he slept more than 8 hours), I didn’t feel the need to discuss that we hadn’t had daily tummy time and most of all I stopped looking at the books telling me what my child should be doing at each age,
Instead I started trusting in myself and listening to the people that mattered to me, such as my Mum, sister in law and my husband. I started to enjoy each phase, know that it was just a phase and “this too shall pass”.
All of a sudden I became more content. I stopped wanting to return to work and started to enjoy my time with my baby and was secretly delighted that I had another on the way, I started to trust myself and have confidence in myself.
It seems that I am not alone 32% of the mothers polled feel more confident as a parent once they have done something before and it also seems that having a mum that you can ask is also really important to new mums with over 23% asking their mum for advice,
When did you feel you were more confident as a mum, was it when your child reached a certain age or did something happen that made you feel more secure?
This post is sponsored by Nurofen for Children, however all words and opinions expressed are my own