Two days ago, after a long and mixed 365 day period my Lizzy Face finally, at 12:26 turned one year old. We had a family party at the weekend, and it’s been emotional. Your baby’s first birthday, it seems, has a much greater impact on you than your own. Perhaps it’s because you start to compare your actions against the effect they have on someone that you love completely, and want to never have an adverse impact on. Perhaps having a child means that you view the world from a different perspective and make your judgements against a more all-encompassing picture. And possibly, you just realise that it has been a whole year that you have been running through the emotional mill and started to come out of the other end with your new identity. In my case Pappa Carr, whose shoes I am starting to feel comfortable in and the memory of my former self doesn’t vanish, but merges into a new phase. Sounds exciting. But don’t worry, I’m not going to get all mushy on you folks (not today at least). Instead here is a list of things I have learned since having a baby.
This morning when I watched the news I saw a report about the percentage of people that smoke during pregnancy. The main point of the piece was that the levels of people who do smoke while pregnant are higher amongst those in the lowest incomes; which initially seems unsurprising. It is often the bottom bracket that are highlighted; obesity, childhood obesity, alcoholism, crime. If it has a negative impact on society you can bet that sometime or other there will be a report on how low income families have the highest instance of the problem. On reflection however, I am struggling to understand how this statistic exists.
The world is full of ‘advice’ for people starting or planning to embark upon parenthood. There are so many different opinions, philosophies and general points of view that unless you already 100% believe in something it can be very difficult to feel anything other than overwhelmed. The NCT is a prime example of this. The NCT ante-natal class has a very specific agenda, or certainly seemed to from our course. This agenda is not for scrutiny or question, it is to be taken as truth. Now if you are coming from the same place as the NCT (philosophically speaking) then the content of the course is probably very worthwhile. However from discussion I’ve had few people toe the line. What I think most people, and certainly we got, was much more important.