If parenthood came with a GPS, it would mostly just say “recalculating”.
- Simon Holland
Unless you grew up with a baby in your home, most people don't have much experience of what life as a new family is like. And it can be very different to how it's portrayed in movies, on TV or Instagram.
So becoming parents, for most couples, is kind of a leap of faith. Which is the beginning of any worthwhile adventure.
But - heads up, there’s a couple of things you might want to be aware of if you’re about to go into it…
The first is that most of the professionals you’re going to come into contact with will have their own areas of expertise, like childbirth or breastfeeding or baby sleep cycles, for example. They’re going to focus on specific things. But there’s also a bigger picture to consider. More on that soon.
The second is, you might find there's almost too much information about parenting. Some of the advice might be conflicting, which can be confusing and frustrating and leave you feeling stuck. More on that soon too.
The third one is the biggest. At some point in your baby's first year you're likely to discover that while there’s plenty of support for parenting…
there's a big gap in support for parenthood.
But aren't parenthood and parenting the same thing? I thought so too at first. Until I discovered…
ParentING is about your baby. And this is what most people talk about most of the time. Feeding, changing, settling. Learning their signals for hunger, tiredness and affection, that sort of thing. It's about figuring out and nurturing your little one as they grow through their different stages (newborn, baby, toddler, teen). You’ll probably find this stuff is actually pretty straight forward. A lot of it is instinct or common sense. And for the bits that aren’t, there’s plenty of great books, resources and professionals to guide you through.
ParentHOOD, on the other hand, is about YOU. And this is what doesn’t get talked about nearly enough. It's about you and your partner changing and adapting and settling into your new roles. It's about how you were parented and whether you want the same or different, or bits of both, for your own children. Parenthood is about your hopes, dreams and fears. It’s how you want to be, who you want to become as a mother or a father and as partners in the new life you’re creating together.
And just as there’s stages for your baby to grow through, there’s stages for you and your partner to grow through too. Finding your feet, navigating your way, nurturing yourself and each other and working together to create your family’s future and grow the love as you go, so you can all thrive. We call this “Becoming Us”.