It struck me the other day: I picked up my little ones from nursery, just after lunch, which I always do. We went home and got ready for bed when my 2 year old monkey decided to make a scene. She threw herself on the floor, crying and whining. I kept absolutely calm and actually smiled. I was slightly surprised about myself because I remember those early days when both my youngest baby and my still very young daughter cried from the top of their voices and I was running around in despair trying to calm them. What a stressful time that was! I certainly didn’t feel in control then and it took me some time to manage both. But when did I become the “role model” of a parent? When did I become the parent that I always wanted to be: calm, in control, knowing what to do, fighting off other well-meaning parents with ease and simply devoted? Certainly, those early days displayed a completely different picture of me and I wouldn’t have blamed anyone criticising me for how I dealt with stressful situations because frankly, I had no experience.
Becoming a parent does not happen overnight though. It may technically be so but certainly not in reality. It takes a lot of time to grow in confidence by getting to know your baby and more about yourself through your baby.
To start with, baby’s developmental stages are challenging: they grow from being 100% dependant on their parents to wanting freedom to explore. Though as parents we grow too: from understanding the kind of care they need around the clock to finding out how much freedom we feel we can give to them. It is a balancing act to learn what we as parents feel most comfortable with. While some are happy to let their little toddler climb onto the table others will quickly take them off it again. Every little discovery seems to become an addition to the balancing act as the parent-child world expands into the real world.
Another question is how to control the baby’s ever changing behaviour? Some are likely to resolve the issue loudly while others try to explain everything with great patience. This again is a moulding process: we understand different aspects of our characters through our children. The continuous interaction allows us to discover an appropriate way of how to deal with them: a way that we feel comfortable with because we see that it works for all of us and a way that our children feel happy with, at least in the long term.

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