The Big Day
You have been planning, dreaming, preparing and waiting for this day – the day you become new parents. Your delivery – I have always thought that to be a word that glosses over the hard work, pain, sweat, fear and tears you just went through – is complete, and you hold the most precious bundle you have ever held in your arms. You are a new mother! After a period of time during which you float on that cloud of profound love and wonder that comes with becoming new parents, the grandmas and grandpas come in to meet this miracle that is a child of their child.
Grandparents – The First Visitors
Some are the “fussers” – “Isn’t that blanket wrapped too tightly?” – “Wait, maybe we should call someone… Do you think her breathing is too shallow?” – “His color looks a little off to me.” Grandparents like this are trying to help new parents but can be a bit overbearing. They seem to forget how terrified new parents are when their first baby arrives. You think maybe you will do something you shouldn’t, or not do something you should. What if your inexperience causes discomfort to this beautiful baby everyone is passing around?
Grandma Protective-Worry is wringing her hands saying things like “I think there are too many of us in this room—when I had Billy they limited visitors to two at a time.” Of course, she also believes she is the one that should stay in the room because she seems to be the only one “paying attention to the baby’s health and welfare,” but her constant worrying can make new parents nervous.
Some grandparents are hypercritical – “You aren’t supporting her head properly, you should do it like this.” No matter what you do Grandma Perfection always has a better, safer, healthier way to do things. However, new parents often already feel like they are stepping into a dark tunnel where they have to feel their way. Some advice is helpful and needed, but it is pretty easy to get railroaded into things that aren’t exactly the way they wanted it.
So, while you feel overwhelmed by the realization that you are now a parent – “How can that be, I have no idea what I’m doing!” – “Where’s the manual?”- your parents are trying to cope with the change in their relationship with you. They have loved you, raised you, supported you, and they knew their roles. They were Mom and Dad, once new parents themselves, and they took care of their “baby.” And trust me, as they are standing in the room with you, meeting this new bundle of potential, they are overwhelmed too.
It is amazing to see the child of your child. The affirmation of life going on. But how do you fit into this new little family? These new parents are different from the young married couple that you had just gotten used to. Now, their attention, and yours, is focused strongly on this new little baby. Both new parents and new grandparents want what’s best for the baby, but grandparents need to step back and let the new parents develop from the role of “child” to the role of “parent.” Sometimes grandparents have trouble finding the best balance between “helping” and “letting go.”
There is a period of time during which all of you are feeling a little out of balance, stepping over and discovering boundaries that are new. Talk to each other. Recognize and accept that toes will be stepped on, but try to remember that the reason for the conflict is the excess of love and concern for the new little person who already has you all wrapped around her finger!
Home to the Nest
A part of you can’t wait to get home to that “nest” that you have been working so hard to have ready for this special baby. You have read about the benefits of blankets, crib sheets, and other products that are made from bamboo. Not only does this appeal to you for the ecological benefit, but you have heard that it is very soft and hypoallergenic. That seems perfect for your baby’s delicate skin. Another thing that makes bamboo blankets perfect for babies and new parents is that bamboo has anti-microbial properties!
You discovered a line of products offered online by Natural Snuggles. You have chosen a theme or color scheme for the nursery. Then you ordered the perfect things from Natural Snuggles, and the package had arrived on your doorstep a few weeks ago.
You have researched what diapers to buy and are overwhelmed by the choices and the variety of opinions about something that seems so common. So you have chosen a couple of brands that seemed to be most favored to try first. As new parents, you will get plenty of chances to evaluate the performance of diapers! Most experts tell us that a baby will go through between 2,500 – 3,000 diapers in their first year! Whew! That’s a lot of diapers that you hope will
- contain whatever messes the baby produces
- be comfortable for your baby
- be convenient for you to use
Time to Go Home
At this point though, you’re as prepared as you can be, and you’re about to come home from the hospital. It never seems like you have had enough time to practice all the essential things to keep your baby fed, clean, clothed, and content. You most likely feel that you are not qualified to take on such an important and delicate task. It is daunting!
If you are thinking “How can they let me take this baby home? I don’t know what I’m doing!”, you are in good company. Most new parents feel this way. You will get through it. You will likely be more exhausted than you ever thought possible, but you will get through it. And, eventually, the whole family will adjust to this brand new bundle of joy that will continue to grow and enhance your family and your lives in ways you can’t even imagine yet.