Becoming a first-time parent was a stressful time for me. It was difficult in that I truly did not want any children. I had raised my mom’s children and that had an impact on me and I really did not like or want any children. Fast forward to after I met the man I thought I would spend the rest of my life with.
I thought I was going to be in love forever and ever. I looked at him and me and thought we would make a beautiful baby. We did make a beautiful little girl. I could not have known the love I would feel for that little girl who was born with a beautiful head full of curly sandy brown hair. I felt a love that I only experienced one other time; when I had my second child.
When I looked at my babies I knew that it was my job to protect them from the world. Especially being black children where the world likes to discard them and discount them. I felt like I needed to be their coach, teacher, cheerleader and support. I was inspired to live my best life and although it was far from my best life with my children’s father, I am still encouraged because I know my life isn’t over.
The feelings that I had when I was a first time parent keeps me going even in the now when my children have all grown up and made me a grandmother. I think about what I need to share to other first time parents.
I had an experience recently with one of my “children”. I seem to acquire “children” everywhere I go. I have a young lady I work with who is pregnant for the first time. I constantly find myself encouraging her to take some time to rest and also to not work so hard and plan for some rest time prior to having her baby.
That is one important thing that I learned, especially being a young mother. When you are a young mother, you feel invincible and powerful because you are bringing life into the world. I did not rest prior to having my child and I was exhausted at delivery. I share that with all the ladies I come across who are having babies because I also realize that the world does not have the same kind of grandmothers and mothers that we had at one time. Some of these young ladies have no one to help guide them in the most natural act in the world. They think just like I thought; that they know everything and we are old and out of touch. I soon learned to listen to my elders because they knew more than I did and in the case of my grandmother, had experienced it 10 times.
In conclusion, if I could share just one piece of advice with first time parents, aside from the rest piece; it would be to not take your babies so seriously and allow them to grow and learn. Don’t smother them. They are tough little creatures.