Happy New Year! New Year often brings change, as does a new baby. However, with a new baby, we don’t always come equipped with the right psychological experience!
We tend to be good at focussing on one job at a time, perfecting it, succeeding in it, getting praised for it, and moving onto the next – whether we are passing exams, cooking a meal, or going shopping. A baby warrants very different skills.
A parent needs to be instantly interruptible, highly responsible, very self sacrificing, and often without any adult support to hand. A friend once said to me “I’ve done nothing all day! I’ve not even put the washing out.” I said, “you have nurtured and cared for that little one all day, a job which no-one else can do as well as you, because you are his mother”.
If you doubt how important nurture and holding is for your baby, read Sue Gerhardt’s book “Why Love Matters”.
I have been interrupted three times writing this (so far). Twice to cuddle my three year old (he is tired) and once to stop the tea from burning. It’s taken me nine years to learn to be instantly interrruptible without frustration. Sometimes, I even feel gratitude – because I am lucky enough to him for my children to come to me and ask for that special thing. A cuddle.
If you sometimes wonder whether you are as important as a mum, as you are in your career, read Naomi Stadlen’s “What Mothers Do – especially when it looks like nothing”. It’s a nice boost when you feel useless.
There are two things which will help you adjust to the changes. One is the temperament of your baby. Time and time again, our parents tell us how calm their baby is. By listening to our cds regularly, you are releasing calming hormones to your baby through the placenta.
This affects the brain development of your baby. Also, a calm birth makes for a calmer baby – though science has yet to research and demonstrate this important phenomena. Our classes are designed to help you get your calmest birth possible.
The second thing which will help you adjust to being a parent is the attachment and love that you feel for your baby. Dealing with a sudden mid-night waking is a lot easier if your heart can melt when you see the cause of your exhaustion! Our classes help you to prepare for parenthood by looking at ways of adjusting to your baby’s existence, and developing a relationship with your baby before he or she is even born.
So, if you have been trying to get your pregnant friends to join our classes, and they aren’t sure, just remind them that it isn’t all about the birth – it’s mostly about the baby!