The “Newborn’s 10 Commandments” Is A Great Reminder For New Parents
It’s extremely challenging being the parent of a brand new baby. Navigating through new experiences can be difficult at the best of times, but caring for a newborn for the first time really amps up the stress and confusion to a whole new level.
I remember when our eldest was a newborn. I swore that it would be easier the second time around because I knew what to do. “I got this,” I said to myself confidently.
It was then that I realised that those first six weeks were insanely difficult not because I was inexperienced, but because my baby was. They literally did not know night from day or which way was up.
Once I realised that, half the battle was won and it became a little easier, but still challenging nonetheless.
An anonymously written letter to “Mummy and Daddy” is doing the rounds again because its sentiment is something that all parents of a newborn should read, no matter how ready we may feel with our first or how practised we believe we are with every additional child. Bringing a new baby home can be overwhelming.
The letter, sometimes referred to as the Newborn’s 10 Commandments, has been around for at least ten years. Though its origin is unknown, it’s been shared and reshared thousands of times over the years – for good reason. It offers a unique perspective from our newborns point of view and reminds parents that these first weeks will be difficult and thankless, but it will get better.
Dear Mummy and Daddy,
Please keep this letter from me in a place where you can read it and re-read it when things are rough and you are feeling down.
• Please don’t expect too much from me as a newborn baby, or too much from yourselves as parents. Give us both six weeks as a birthday present, six weeks for me to grow, develop, mature, and become more stable and predictable – six weeks for you to rest and relax and allow your body to get back to normal.
• Please feed me when I am hungry, I never knew hunger in your womb and clocks and time mean little to me.
• Please hold, cuddle, kiss, touch, stroke, and croon to me. I was always held closely in your womb and have never been alone before.
• Please forgive me if I cry a lot. I am not a tyrant who was sent to make your life miserable, the only way I can tell you I am not happy is with my cry, bear with me and in a short time, as I mature, I will spend less time crying and more time socializing.
• Please take the time to find out who I am, how I differ from you and how much I can bring to you. Watch me carefully and I’ll tell you things which soothe, console and please me.
• Please remember that I am resilient and can withstand the many natural mistakes you’ll make with me. As long as you make them with love, I cannot be harmed.
• Please don’t be disappointed when I am not the perfect baby you expected nor be disappointed with yourselves when you are not the perfect parents.
• Please take care of yourself; eat a balanced diet, rest, and exercise so that when we are together, you have the patience and energy to take care of me. The cure for a fussy baby is more rest for Mum.
• Please take care of your relationship with each other. What good is family bonding if there is no family left for me to bond with.
• Keep the “big picture” in mind. I’ll be like this for a very short time, though it seems like forever to you now. Although I may have turned your life upside down, please remind yourselves that things will be back to normal before long.
Enjoy me – I’ll never be this little again!