Have you seen the BBC program called “One Born Every Minute”? It is a real life experience in the maternity ward in an English hospital. There are expectant mums, dads, grandmas, sisters and other assorted relatives! The filming is pretty graphic so it is not for the faint-hearted.
I went through labour three times myself so I have empathy with the women in labour. It is a wondrous and terrifying event. So, why do we do it?
I think there is no doubt about the need to keep reproducing for the “survival of the species” but what do parents expect to get out of it in the long run? From my experience, the reality of having children is very different than the ‘romantic’ expectations. As they say…”your life will never be the same again!” And yet, I have no regrets whatsoever in having three children. I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Now I am in the role of a Grandma, I think how great it would have been to actually have the time and energy (and the ability to get a good night’s sleep) to put into being a great parent. What would you do differently if you had the opportunity to go back in time with lots of energy and enthusiasm? Or what are your ideals for when your time comes?
Here’s my idealistic view:
- from the moment they were born and then every day I would tell them how much I love them unconditionally
- I would seek out opportunities for them to experience all sorts of different environments (using all 5 senses)
- I would focus on building self-confidence by encouraging them to be involved in sports or other activities to gain assurance of their strength – physically and mentally
- Independence would be encouraged from early on
- I would teach them resilience to deal with whatever life throws in their paths
- Emotional intelligence – logical with the capacity to experience life in all its colours
You know, as I write this, I can’t help thinking how much young children can teach me – rather than the other way around. Children and young people have much more capacity to live in the moment, to not judge others, to see life clearly and fairly. I am also aware that I did the best I could with what I knew at the time.
I am very proud of who my sons are today 🙂 in spite of me learning on the job!
PS No children were harmed in the writing of this blog 🙂