5 things new mothers should know

Comments 2 Standard

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1. You will never take enough photos to satisfy yourself.
A strange thing happens when you have a baby, you suddenly become obsessed with photos and having records of every moment – remember that they are for you to enjoy – don’t miss them all hiding behind a lens!

2. Every baby is different.
No matter how many books you read, advice you listen to or experience of other babies you have, your baby will be different and that’s ok. You will become an expert in your own baby. It is completely normal to obsess about feeding, sleeping and nappies and despite what you think, you will.

3. Develop a thick skin.
Whether you breast feed, bottle feed, use disposable or cloth nappies, wear your baby, co sleep, put them in their own room, wean with a spoon or do baby led weaning, post photos or don’t post photos, you are going to upset somebody. Unfortunately, there will be plenty of comments that will smart a little, there may be some snarkiness and you will unintentionally touch nerves. Be prepared for this and build up a network of people you can discuss unhelpful comments with so they don’t take root.Choose your forums carefully, what’s app and FB private groups can be great places to vent and discuss intricate details out of the public domain.

4. Don’t do it alone and be honest.
You don’t have to do it all alone. There are plenty of groups, meet ups, baby classes, forums, social media communities, friends and family members who want to help you – let them and be honest. No one expects you to enjoy every second of motherhood and if anyone says they do they are lying. Be honest about things and ask questions!

5. You are doing a great job.
You won’t get it right all of the time. You won’t feel yourself all of the time but you are doing a great job. No one else can care for your baby like you – trust me you’re amazing.

Comments 3 Aside

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-22057246

This story has been all over the news. There have been a number of responses. Some calling for her to be sacked, some raising questions about social media and whether teenagers understand the potential ramifications of what they post, some stereotyping ‘teenagers’

This got me thinking back to when I was 14-16 and all of the silly things I said and did, which are not recorded on any social media sites as they weren’t around then. Lucky for me I would say. Social media can be a mind field. If you don’t have a full grasp of privacy settings or the true public nature of what you post. Facebook can be used to document moments of life, rather like a diary used to. The difference is a diary was kept hidden under your bed and Facebook is there for all to see.

Twitter captures 140 characters of thought, links, opinion. How many of us think through our tweets every time before we send? At times, the timeline becomes a battle ground and everyone is exposed to the argument or disagreement.

Do we hold ourselves as accountable as we are holding Paris Brown?

I do believe that a new type of parenting has evolved through social media, digital parenting. Children and young people do need help and guidance with navigating social media as they do in all areas of life. I feel for parents who have suddenly had to try and get their heads around Facebook and twitter, cyber bullying, trolling, giving their children a long view about the permanency of what they write.

I also believe that we have a tendency to vilify teenagers for their behaviour. We are quick to judge and write them off. We are happy to lump them all together and see them as a group to be avoided rather than individuals who deserve to be given a chance.

Recently, there have been a number of programmes about improving opportunities for disadvantage young people. Secret Millions is a good example of this. We are at last exposed to the truth of the situation. Many young people do not feel valued, do not feel they have opportunities and don’t have people around them willing to work with them and build them up.

This is not a post about parenting, we all have a responsibility for the young people in our communities. We can all speak into and affect a young person’s life for good. We are often quick to judge parents and blame them for all the problems, the same way we do with teachers and schools.

We are all accountable.

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