When I became a first time mum nearly 9 years ago I had no clue what I was letting myself in for. None of my friends or close family had babies and let’s just say I wasn’t the natural parenting type! I thought I would have the baby, head back to work after 6 months and life would carry on pretty much the same. Well obviously it didn’t! I’ve talked before about how parenting really knocked my confidence in the first few months but today I’m going to focus on the little milestones that helped me to get that confidence back.
Nurofen for Children say:
“it’s no surprise that in our survey almost nine in ten first time mums reflect on having a baby as a life changing experience as they rework their normal routines to take care of their little one. During their baby’s first year, mums say they felt the biggest impacts on their relationships work life and friendships. Our research shows that on average, it takes a first time mum six months to feel confident as a parent, and for almost half (47%), the health of their child is one of their biggest parenting worries”.
I can absolutely identify with this. In fact I think it took me a little longer to get my confidence back, probably about a year. I genuinely more or less hibernated for the first 6 months.
But yes the health of my precious newborn baby was one of my biggest worries. I remember my husband going back to work after two weeks paternity leave and me just crying. I thought to myself to take it day at a time – I had one job, to keep the baby alive for the day! It sounds drastic and funny now but that is genuinely how I felt. Looking after a fragile helpless human being was nerve wracking for me!
I have always been quiet, reserved and I would never really speak up for myself. It is because of this that I can really remember the milestone where I realised that my confidence had come back, but in a different way – I was the voice for my child, I knew what was best for her, what was wrong with her and I would fight for her. One day she had a terrible accident at playgroup. She was pushed by another child off the top of a slide. She hit her head very badly. She screamed uncontrollably and nothing I could do would settle her. The bump on her head was already huge.
The ladies who ran the playgroup must have seen injuries before but I had never seen my own child in such a state. They said she would be fine. I adamantly told them that while I hoped that was the case that she needed to be checked over by A&E immediately. I have never bossed anyone around before but I think because I was so calm and clear with my intentions they paid attention to me and drove me to the hospital because I didn’t want to put her down and I was on my own. On the way to the hospital she was dropping off to sleep. I’ve never been so frightened and I hoped and I prayed with all my might that she would be ok. And luckily she was. She spent a couple of hours in observation and she had a bruise in the end that covered half of her face but she was ok.
Even now as an experienced parent I can’t believe that the playgroup leader had not thought that immediate hospital attention was necessary for such a nasty head injury. You can never be too careful with a child. I am so glad that I had the confidence in my own parenting skills to insist on a hospital visit, and even though she was ok, she very easily may not have been. A few days of rest and observation, with some nurofen and she was right as rain though luckily.
Parenting takes confidence, but we will all get there.
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