Tag Archive | parents

Inspiring your next generation

Poster print by Anthony Burrill

Poster print by Anthony Burrill anthonyburrill.com

Although I am not a designer by any means I do have an interest in design and follow a few designer’s blogs and twitter accounts.

One that I’ve followed for many years is Noisy Decent Graphics. The author, Ben, is also a father and blogged this morning about filling a space on his wall at home with an inspiring printed quote – something that would inspire him and his young family.

I began this post with the chosen quote as the title, but decided against it in the hope you’ll read Ben’s piece. The thought process has got me thinking about the responsibility of inspiring my own child through its life.

How much influence do you really have? While they’re still young and at home you have complete control over what they’re exposed to and how they’re treated. But as soon as they go to a nursery, pre-school, and begin their journey through primary and secondary school you have to slowly take a back seat to other worldly influence and do you best to direct and support where you can.

As with many things, I believe it comes down to the little things and the example you set yourself. I’ve seen how children mimic their parents behaviour, and how they can mirror your own personality, often shinning a light on features you’re not to proud of. What will my child’s behaviour say about me?

I’d heard before how your children can teach you so much, and am now beginning to really understand what that means.

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The generation gap

My parents have been visiting the last few days and the emotional and mental support has been a welcome relief.

They’ve been very reassuring about how well we’re doing and how content the baby looks and it’s reinforced the thought that this whole parenting adventure/ordeal is as much about confidence as it is ability.

Something did come up in one conversation which had a profound impact and wasn’t expected at all. My mum commented on how involved I was, (wifey has been quite I’ll so I’ve had to be very hands on with everything), and my dad agreed, and said it made him feel ashamed of the lack of involvement he had in my early years.

This really took me by surprise, I’ve always thought wonderfully of my dad and wouldn’t change anything about him for the world, and it was difficult seeing him admit such a regret to me.

Times were very different when I was a baby and I understand that completely. I do sometimes forget though just how much the world has changed in the last 30+ years, especially what is now socially acceptable / the norm, and wonder what life will be like 30 years from now.

  • Hat tip to Brighton Dad for the thought behind blogging this.
  • Sane level “two” as I got fully vomited over this evening and was already tired and frustrated with the day…

Awesome, I just got over 90 minutes of uninterrupted sleep!

To summarise the first week of being a dad:

  • Hearing your partner shout “I need to push!” when you’re still at home and 40 minutes away from the hospital is terrifying.
  • Driving with your partner in the back seat, in labour, chanting “don’t push, don’t push” is almost as terrifying.
  • Being in a room with 10 strangers all looking at your completely naked wife is just weird.
  • Somehow there was a small part of me that still didn’t quite believe there was a baby inside wifey, but seeing it actually delivered changed that pretty quickly.
  • Labour is fucking intense. Unbelievably so. Fucking amazing, but fucking intense. Expletives are fully justified.
  • Women are tough. They give everything they’ve got for 15 hours and somehow give even more, for another 90 minutes.
  • A ventouse delivery is equally freaky and scary.
  • Holding your baby for the first time is absolutely awesome.
  • Seeing wifey go through it all is pretty traumatic
  • The NHS is awesome. Could not have imagined better care, seriously. Very impressed.
  • Having to leave your baby for the first time to go and get some sleep can be quite emotional for everyone involved.
  • Sleep will never be the same again
  • When I asked new parents about surviving with the lack of sleep, they said “you just do”. I now understand this fully.
  • Your relationship with your own parents gets taken to another level of appreciation and gratitude.
  • Digital cameras were made for babies.
  • You crash and burn spectacularly on the 3rd / 4th day.
  • Time flies very fast. “she’s a week old already?!”
  • Breast feeding can be a mean bitch of a job.
  • Nothing can gross you out any more. I’ve been wee’d on, poo’d on and vomited all over, but the only thought is “is the baby ok?!”
  • Modern smartphones were invented to keep geeky dads like me sane during the unsocial hours.
  • Driving home with your baby for the first time is almost as scary as driving to the hospital with your partner in labour.

Not a conclusive list but gives you a rough idea of things.

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