Guest post by Keira @baby_palms
Every journey is different.
My journey into some form of motherhood began with my partners son. I was 19 so barely entering into adulthood myself before being thrown into the deep end with a 3 year old, no knowledge of nappies or nurseries, I just liked making play doh dinosaurs and baking cakes. If only life was so simple. There was never any pressure to be a mother figure but with any child some form of authority is necessary, right? He thought I was three years old like him!!! My partner gained full custody and this quickly became incredibly overwhelming. I did my searching on google “step mum at 19” and “how to show authority to a child who is not mine without overstepping” and “why are step-mums always portrayed as evil” which is why I feel it is so important that this sort of story is written down, somewhere for that person going through something similar.
I fell pregnant a few years later with my gorgeous daughter, who is now three herself. I was pregnant with my first child at 20 with a 4 year old running riot around me, it was the complete unknown. Usually having your first child prepares you a little bit for the second. You’ve got the usual guilt, worry and uncertainty that comes with a 2nd child and then the realisation that she is actually my 1st. It was all so confusing, I was confused, are you confused?
When she was born, I fell so deeply in love. Her skin, her eyes, her smell, so small. I wanted to linger in the moments where it was just her and I. Where we could lay, cuddle, sit, feed, sleep and then… it was time to leave the hospital. Enter back into the world, the chaos, the even more unknown, the what ifs and how will I’s. My first born experience was different and I had to accept that. Everyone’s experiences are different and this is mine. I had to accept that I would need to do school runs when my partner returned to work. That we wouldn’t be able to stay for lunch with new mum friends because of pick up times. I felt isolated in my situation, a little lost as none of my friends had children and here I was with two!
I found my connection through my daughter. We started going to a regular Baby Massage class which she loved. It was that same little bubble I felt at the start, just her and I without the chaos. Being together, present in each other’s company, guilt free. Baby Massage led to me starting my own little business creating safe spaces for parents to feel, express, connect and just simply be.
Connection is embedded in all of us. We crave contact, physical touch from the moment we are born. Some little ones don’t get that initial contact and as we know from the isolation of the pandemic many have felt so very lonely in their solitude. Which is why I feel more should be done to create the spaces for parents, carers, mothers, fathers, birthing partners and anyone looking after children. A space to feel welcome with judgement free, tears, laughter and anything else that may come up. A space to feel held and supported themselves because so often it is just the baby. The first 1001 days of a child’s life are crucial to their mental, physical and emotional wellbeing. That is from conception to 2 years old almost 70% of the brain is developed, which means that the experiences and connections an infant has in these fundamental years can have a massive impact of their life and future relationships. This is why the parent needs nurturing too!
Remember that every journey is different. Every child, every body.
Guest post by Kiera Andrews
More information on the first 1001 days of life can be found here: https://parentinfantfoundation.org.uk/1001-days
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