“There are many different kinds of bravery.
There’s the bravery of thinking of others before one’s self.”
J.M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Everyone knows that having a baby will change your life. Your family and friends have told you how rewarding it is yet what little sleep to expect. But there are many more changes that a baby brings to your life, individually and as a couple.
If you are reading this, you’re probably either expecting your first child or just became a new parent, so to help anticipate what changes you to expect when a new baby arrives to the family (or find a kindred soul) we asked five mums of our Jumbo children about their experience when first having a baby.
Five contemporary women shared their experience with us, from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds, some working full time and others a full time mum, some have just recently had their first baby while others have experienced the beauty of birth a few times.
Couple vs family life
Although most couples anticipate that babies will bring change to their lives, it still catches many by surprise just how big the transformation is. When two become three (and sometimes more) partners are challenged to keep balance with their individual, couple and a very demanding child needs.
“We were told that having a baby would completely change our lives, but we were adamant that our baby would fit in to our schedule and not completely disrupt our lives as we lived them.” Danielle told us. “We were naive enough to assume that although there would be change, it wouldn’t be as dramatic as what everyone said”, added Miranda.
All of the mums we spoke with and their partners enjoyed a very active work and social life before having their first child. “We made sure we spent a reasonable amount of time together”, said one mum. “We took advantage of spontaneous weekends away, eating out and catching up with friends at the drop of a hat”, added another, “my husband and I had so much freedom, we both worked full time, enjoyed travelling and staying fit.”
Thus, one of the biggest changes when a baby is born, is the priorities shift and parents need to devout much if not most of their time to their newborn. “I knew life would change a lot. I had seen my siblings and friends have children and saw how much life changes” says Amanda, now a mum of three. But nothing had prepared her for what came next, “I thought I knew busy and tired before but this was a different kind of busy – a slower pace but never ending.” Or as Mindy put it, “when you have a child the first thing you notice is that every second is used.”
These new and demanding responsibilities force parents to make many changes to their choices and time allocation. For example, one mum told us how she and her husband had to priority changes in their personal lives to fit the needs of others, “No, please come straight home from work and skip the gym as I need your help with the kids tonight!” Danielle said.
Together we are stronger
Jasmine, who moved to Australia from China with her husband years ago, speaks of life as a couple after having her first child in very positive terms, “As a couple we learnt how much we relied on each other, with no immediate family around to help us, we only had each other and although it tested us it also made us stronger.” she said.
Whilst it can be hard at first, Maddy found strength in her relationship, “We had to draw on the depths of our friendship to work as a team to survive the sleep deprivation, uncertainty that comes with being new parents and the shock that our lives were no longer the same as we knew them.” Maddy said.
“It brought us closer together.” said Viv. “I remember first holding our baby and thinking – we are a family, always.” “We embraced our new role but had to consciously carve out date time for each other, which was something new for us” said Danielle.
Jumbo is here to help
Childcare can be of great help when adjusting to the new life of being a parent. “It has been an absolute blessing” said Jasmine about her experience at Jumbo. “It gave us some ‘time’ back which is so great! It has helped restore some balance to my and my husband’s life both personally and professionally.”
Having the confidence that your child is in great and capable hands and that they will be cared for just as if part of our family gave many the support they needed “There is simply no way in our situation we would have been able to manage without it” Miranda told us, as her and her husband work full time. “We also feel as though we have a support network as we don’t have family close by that helps out often”, Jasmine added as their immediate family doesn’t reside in Melbourne.
Childcare for early development
On top of that, childcare and kindergarten can have a huge impact upon the early growth of a child, “Our daughter’s incredible development is in large part due to her early interaction with other children at Jumbo and the care they have taken of her”, said one mum. “Not only does childcare teach children social skills with other children, but also with adults” said Amanda.
“The educators are able to teach the children in ways I am not equipped to” Maddy told us. “My eldest daughter learnt so much about confidence and creativity at Jumbo. My second daughter is in love with the staff and absolutely loves every day at Jumbo. She has learnt so much about patience, independence and caring for her friends at Jumbo, it is heart-warming,”
To sum it all up, one of the mums told us “My children have flourished at Jumbo and the educators are like family to us!”
There is much to look forward to
With all the above being said, all five mums we spoke with agreed, that despite any of challenges of having a baby, it has been a blessing to their lives and the positives far outweigh any trials they had to face.
Being a parent can be extremely rewarding, as it was told to us “Having a child has provided a depth and richness to life that is like nothing else.” And “It is also amazing seeing the world through the eyes of a child!”