Dear mummy, cuddle your baby

Dear mummy,

I know you’re tired. Pregnancy is tough and birth never goes to plan. It feels like you haven’t slept in weeks. Your newborn is crying in her basket, and all you want to do is sleep. You’ve read all the parenting books. Your baby is clean and dry, she’s not hungry or thirsty so they tell you to leave her, you’ll make her clingy by picking her up.

But those other parenting books tell you to hold her. They tell you that all she needs is comfort, to be close to her mum. But don’t cuddle her because of them. Cuddle her because next week, she’ll be a few days older. Cuddle her because in two weeks, she’ll no longer be a newborn. She’ll let you sleep a little, go a few minutes longer between feeds and you’ll be delighted. But those beautiful newborn days will be gone.2012-06-12-08.42.52Spend time with your baby when she opens her eyes. The books tell you to leave her on her play mat, let her get used to the world. They tell you to let relatives hold her and teach her to be sociable from the start. Don’t let her get too attached to you, it will only make your life harder in the long run.

And the other books? They say that you should be with her, build her confidence by letting her know you’re always there. But don’t spend time with her because of them. Spend time with her because soon, you’ll put her down on her play mat and she’ll roll over and crawl off. Before long, she’ll be taking those first wobbly, tentative steps and walking away.

Take your child for days out. Read with her, play games at home. Teach her to ride a bike, use a pen and appreciate her surroundings. The parenting books tell you to let her be independent, to be bored and to play alone. Unless you read the other books, the ones that tell you to do things for her until she asks to do them herself.

But don’t read with her because of them. Read with her because in the blink of an eye, you’ll be at the school gates, kissing her goodbye. And soon, she’ll be reading on her own. Playing with her friends and entertaining herself in front of a screen.

Go to her school events. Be there for the assemblies, the sports days, the presentations, the school plays and the prize givings. Be there even though you have too much to do, you don’t know anybody and they’re boring. Be there to clap, cheer and show your support, even when she tells you that she doesn’t want you there. Thursday photo #84Be there because before you know it, it will be the last presentation. She will be accepting her degree and glancing over at you with a grin, before turning on her heels and making her own way in the world.

7 thoughts on “Dear mummy, cuddle your baby

  1. Agent Spitback

    What a beautiful post! This is so touching and a gentle reminder that they are only little once and the day will come all too soon when you watch them fly the nest. Be sure you have made enough memories, that’s what parenting really is.
    Agent Spitback recently posted…Mommy Wants A DateMy Profile

  2. Sarah MumofThree World

    Such a beautiful post and so very true! I wasn’t there as much in the early years as I went back to work at six months and I’ve never been a crafting and baking mum, but I’ve spent as much time as I can with my kids. I’ve definitely been to every assembly, sports day, ballet show, panto and the majority of football and rugby matches! That stuff is priceless and I know it won’t be around forever. X
    Sarah MumofThree World recently posted…TomTom Spark Cardio & Music fitness watchMy Profile

  3. Rachel C

    Ths is beautiful. I realised myself just how true this was the other night when I tucked my little boy in bed on his 5th birthday. Time is flying. I made a pact with myself a few months ago, the only one I have never broken: never be the first one to let go in a cuddle.


  4. msedollyp

    a very beautiful and insightful post. My eldest will soon be off to Uni and my youngest is just finishing Reception year and i want to hold them both to me as long as I can!! The time has indeed flown and i wish i had done so much more.

  5. Suzanne

    Agree with this 100% and even more so now that mine are teenagers! You never know what’s round the corner and you will be so thankful that you embraced everything when they were younger. Time really does fly. Oh and the parenting books? Need to go in the bin!

  6. Debbie

    Hi Natalie, all very true words. Parents should have the courage to go with it and do what they feel like doing and not what they feel they should do. So what if a parent wants to spend all day on the floor with their little one? So what if hours are spent reading together or snuggling on the sofa watching films? Behind every child begging their parents not to come and watch them in a school play/ sports day or whatever is a child who is secretly pleased you went.

    Parent by instincts and not by peer pressure. Enjoy every moment with your child while you can, that includes the testing times too, as one day they will be all grown up and you’ll wish you had.

    Fab post.



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