babies and growing them up

I have some worries and confessions to let out.

I am the first one in my family and friends to be expecting and surely I have no experience of babies. I normally dont find them all-that-cute and if they start crying I run for a cover - literally run for a cover.

My decision of having a baby was more like a casual decision - like ok now we are married and next thing is babies - so lets get it done. The decision was also to some extent influenced by the fact that my husband is 15 years elder to me and is now 43 (oh! what an amazing love story we have Its just the nicest fairy tale where the Prince looking for his princess for so many years finally finds her in a far off land - and she becomes his 'little girl' for the rest of their lives - I just love it)

Also on one side I was (still am) quite curious as how mixed babies look - would they have blue eyes or black - blond hair or black etc.

So ofcourse I never thought of material stuffs, like having a house or do we have enough savings for the baby or can we afford it in terms of time - I am doing my Ph.D and I would be off for field work in a conflict area 3 months after the baby is born - although I think I have an option to take a leave from the University for an year - but I have to finish my Ph.D sooner as well - So, so far I dont intend to - not sure if it changes after the baby is born.

And I certainly dont know what happens after the babies are born - my epic statement during the family dinning on Christmas was - 'ok so the babies are born, we feed them milk, put them in a pram and walk around the city' - everyone in the family started laughing - but i still dont know what was wrong with that statement - is that not what we are supposed to do ? What else do we do with the babies?

I kind of know how to behave with them when they are 13 years (I have a sister who is 10 years younger to me and I kind off handled her in those rebel stage of life so I am quite aware of how to behave with teenagers) - BUT WHAT DO YOU DO WITH A BABY ??

I myself was born and brought up in a HUGE family in a big compound where my grandfather still lives with all his sons and their families in various houses. I had cousins all of my own age and a younger brother who was born when I was almost 4 years - but my mom got sick immediately after and was in hospital for few months - so my grandmaa and the nanny changed the nappies and my mommy when she came back from the hospital only played with the baby -or atleast so it appeared to me - so I grew up thinking that is how babies are raised.

And now I am in this house with my husband alone and no BIG Family and No cousins around and no Grand moms and nannies who are like a part of the family and I feel so lost thinking What do you do with the babies ?

Is there someone else who worries like me - or if there is someone who can tell me (I wish babies come with instruction manual and trouble shooters!)

xoxo

8 Replies

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  • I think it's a good question to ask! :) What do you do with a baby?

    I'm having my first in April and my partner has two grown up kids, his opinion is that babies don't need that much when they're very little apart from feeding, clothing, cleaning and tending to their cries and of course huge doses of love. :) Others spend lots of time interacting with their babies or going for long walks, visiting families near and far. I've heard sleep deprivation is common so these tasks, seemingly simple are tiring.

    You'll learn the rhythm of what is right for your family and even without the big family or nannies to help you out you may well surprise yourself with what you find yourself capable of doing. My sister has completed a PhD, albeit she was childless and single and it took everything out of her, some PhD students manage to juggle what seems the impossible. I'm not sure what you mean by a "conflict area" though but if studying at that level you will have the intelligence to ensure the safety of your little one and to arrange appropriate child care. I have heard of some women who once having their babies actually don't want to work in the same manner as they did previously as they want to be with their newborns. Some don't have the choice of being able to choose being at home or earning a wage (as is the case with me, I'd love to be at home but finances won't allow sadly).

    You are in a great position for three wonderful adventures, your marriage, your career and your baby! It's very exciting! I'm sure you'll get lots of other opinions shortly to help you understand better what things you can do as a new mum.

    Congratulations on everything! :)

  • Thanks for your response. I sometimes wish i had had more time or rather girlfriends who were mommies. but living in Universities and hostels soon after you are 18 up until you get married (or rather, in my case, get a baby) is surely bit strange.

    Sometimes I wonder - did I miss some phase of transition in between or did i had more than what people would normally get. and every time I think like this, I do feel I am quite lucky although I am never sure if that feeling is just my own self-assuring or if I have been actually rather lucky !

    Yes a lot of exciting times in store and I am so up for it !! BRING IT ON :D

  • I wish that too, I don't have friends who are mommies and spent a lot of time focusing on my aspirations. I lived a bit of a bohemian life from teenage too albeit not entirely influenced by academia, it all adds up to good qualities for being the best mum you can be!

  • :) I hope so

  • i was the same as you, that i had no friends or small children.closeby when i had my first child 7 yrs ago when i was aged 23. it was scary for me and i am a qualified and experienced nursery nurse. Once my daughter was born i was still unsure but.your instincts kick in or mine did anyways. sometimes it does take a while but you have to believe in your own judgements. when i had my second child i was more.in control but very unsure how.my.now 5 yr old.would cope.with a sibling but.she did.great, is now a little.mum to him. he is.now 2 yrs old and i am currently 27 weeks with my third and final.child also a boy ( that's what the scan says lol). i am very unsure of how.my 2 yr old will cope with a newborn has he is very boisterous. sleeping for me doesn't really exist until baby is at least.6-8 months, that's what happened with my.last 2 but some ppl.are very.lucky.that their.newborn sleeps well from the beginning. good luck with.your little one. taking pictures and videos are great as they grow up so fast. x

  • I think you may find it hard at first - especially because you write that you are not used to being alone with all your family far away. This definitely does not help - I was like this when my daughter was born and it felt really lonely when my husband was at work and I - all alone with the baby at home. Usually, you will have a midwife who will visit you a couple of times after your baby is born and don't be afraid to ask for help if you think you are not coping or for advice if you are unsure about something. Then (after approx. 2 weeks) your baby's care will be passed onto a health visitor. I don't find health visitors very useful but they are there for you if you have any questions. Also, you may ask your GP to get a family support worker who will then come over and try to act as a member of your extended family - helping you with getting used to your life with a newborn.

    Generally, first babies are always a bit of a challenge - because you do not know what to expect and it may sometimes be very hard to trust your instincts when you have no experience, but still you have to have faith in yourself and your abilities to care for this little person. Whatever happens - don't forget to care about yourself. It is very easy to focus all your attention on a baby, but you (and your partner) are equally important. You will most likely be sleep deprived and may feel blue every now and then - try to rest when your newborn is asleep and eat well.

    A good way of finding new local friends with babies is going to your local SureStart Centre (https://www.gov.uk/find-sure-start-childrens-centre ). Depending on where you are, children centres offer playgroups and/or training for new mums - it's a fun way of spending time with your baby outside of the house, where you can share your experiences and worries with other mums and get support if needed. I made a really big mistake when our daughter was born by thinking that there's no point in attending playgroups with a newborn. 'A baby so small will not benefit anyway' - I thought, but I was wrong. A baby may not benefit much from going to a playgroup but a first time mum will. So now I suggest all new mums to find a local centre and go there with their baby for their own enjoyment and peace of mind.

    Now, what do you do with babies?

    You love them. You cuddle them and play with them. You talk and sing to them (make sure you do it face to face as much as possible). You make funny faces at them. You smile a lot to them and carry them around the house. You go for walks (or to a SureStart centre) with them in their pram or in a sling. You tickle their toes and massage their tummies when they have colic. Their cries will worry you and sometimes (if they cry uncontrollably and inconsolably) they may annoy you, but whatever you do NEVER shake or shout at your baby. You bathe and dress and feed your baby. You change their nappies and make they are warm. You cherish them and show them off to all friends and family, even if it's only by sending pictures or via skype. You love them more than life and go to sleep praying for their health and happiness.

    This is what you do with babies.

  • * I meant to write: You change their nappies and make sure they are warm.

  • Awww BecktonParkChildminder that was so cute. I loved the last paragraph especially. And thanks for letting know about the new born baby club, I would surely find out more about it.

    I have just come to an agreement with my Mom that she would come 10 days before my delivery and stay until the baby is 50 days atleast -and for this I have a price to pay - I cant fight with mom or throw tantrums around for a whole year - not that i throw that much - but still !!

    After that we would ask my in-laws to come and be with us for a month or two as my college will resume and I would be taking one or two courses - although I am glad that the baby is coming during vacations :) - My supervisors advised I can take an year off -but I dont want to do that, unless there is a complication or something - because as a person i tend to get easily bored and frustrated if I dont have much to do or only one thing to do - i am happiest when I am loaded with lots of different kinds of task - restless soul that I am. And also I want to start investing in my dream house as soon as I finish my degree and get a job :)

    After my in-laws is the turn of my dad to come and stay with us - hopefully we would be able to pull like that until December after which i go back to India for my field work and friends there have already started looking around for a house and trusted domestic help who can be with me 24x7 as it would be difficult for my husband to stay in India for an year - he hates the summers there (and I hate it when he constantly turn red and fall sick in the heat).

    But yeah as I really dont know anything much about the babies - i just hope my plans dont get busted ;)

    During 2011 I have to stay alone for 8-9 months without even my husband (who was than my fiance) and I went into depression - I was suddenly so non-ambitious and doing so bad professionally and personally - did not wanted to go out or socialize and i was just kind of eating myself up - thankfully my family realizes this need of mine - and same also goes for my in-laws now - I am really blessed to have such supportive parents and in-laws around and above all my Husband (I feel so glad!)

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