Becoming a mum at 17, I had never ever held a newborn, so I was pretty clueless to tell you the truth, so parenthood was slightly daunting to say the least..
Reading wasn’t my thing so I didn’t rush out to buy every parent manual I could find, but mind you there certainly wasn’t as many 14 years ago as there is now.
My thoughts were always how could a book teach you to bound and build a relationship with your baby when every parent and child is very different. So some might say I went into parenthood very naively with little knowledge but I think in some ways the more you know the more you could worry unnecessarily. But I embraced the steep learning curve that was ahead of me and it has certainly been fun, well most of the time!
From those precious first days, my maternal instinct kicked in and I made quick decisions on all kinds of things. The first was when T refused a bottle soon after birth and the midwife was keen to get some fluids into her as she was very sleepy, so she suggested I latch her on and she took straightaway hey presto ( I know this isn’t the case for everyone so please don’t all stone me now!) so that had to be my very first ParentOn Moment. She was a dream to feed and I never looked back, even though I hadn’t really thought about breastfeeding before, it worked well for us.
To the first bath with a slippy slidey teeny weeny scrunched up baby, I have fond memories of sharing this moment with my Mum even though we were both nervous. I survived and flourished through.
I continued to follow T’s lead and we survived the sleepless nights, weaning teething, the first sniffles and some more serious chest problems that resulted in a hospital stay, but by this point I knew my baby enough to know when she wasn’t right.
My second bundle was born 5 years later and things weren’t as smooth as with my firstborn, L spent time in SCBU, meaning endless hours of sitting next to her crib longing to hold her, so never let anyone tell you you need to put your newborn down, those first days weeks are precious and cuddle them as much as you want. I once again found my feet as a new parent with the added element of having an older one too so having to be up and out of the house for a certain time meant L would have to wait to be fed sometimes, she survived!
Weaning was much later than when I had been advised with T a whole 3 months difference as T had her first at 12 weeks, L was 6 months. I have been given slightly different guidlines/literature nearly everytime my babies were old enough to try solids
By the time no.3 came along I should have had this, but J had other plans, she was tongue tied, which was missed until she was 8 weeks old, feeding was tough and she didn’t sleep a wink, she’s still not a keen sleeper 6 years on. So I have to admit exhaustion set in and my mood dipped quite majorly, but nothing some anti-depressants didn’t resolve (PND is not taboo anymore, so should be openly spoken about).
We got through and J has continued with a very strong character into childhood, bringing a lots of joy and some stressful times too.
My darling boy is a complete miracle, his entrance to the world was a nightmare starting with shoulder dystocia, being starved of oxygen and rush to SCBU very poorly, leaving me shocked and gutted I had missed that skin to skin contact I had previously cherished with the girls. Another major ParentOn Moment when I had to rethink my expectations. But my 10lb little fighter got through, I have to admit I would worry more and check up on him more and wasn’t sure of the longterm outcome, but thankfully all seems ok 4 years on.
The baby of the family, had a smoother entrance, but being baby to 4 older siblings and only having one parent in the house, she spent alot of time in a car seat ferrying them around, she was hungry alot and I used a dummy alot with her none of the others except L (who only had it for a few weeks and you won’t find any photographic evidence of this) had one. She pretty much skipped the sloppy weaning stage and jumped straight to the finger foods she grabbed out of her older siblings hands.
So 14 years into parenting I openly admit I have brought some parenting magazines, well I needed to know which was the latest seen to have pushchairs 😉 but have not been a regular subscriber.
The Pickles and I have made it through this far and I have share just a snippet of some of my #ParentOn moments, as I have thousands more than I could mention in one blog, I feel strongly about this campaign from Tommee Tippee that is encouraging parents to follow their gut instinct. As the Pickles grow I look forward to think on my feet many more times in the future too, that’s why parenting is so exciting
Follow the #ParentOn hashtag across social media to find out more about the Tommee Tippee campaign.
Written by Jessamine Hislop-Newton, Mummy to 5 Pickles, Founder and Owner of Little Pickles Markets