Parenthood is a new beginning in many aspects of a person’s life.
While the journey may seem natural for some, for others the it can be a confusing process, and in all respects it is a mixture of both for most of the population.
There are a lot of “ideas” about what it is like to be a parent. Some of the ideas are based around folklore, or cultural aspects that led them to think a certain way. While some of the “old wives tales” have a certain amount of truth to them, most are just misconceptions that have been propagated from generation to generation. One of the myths that may have some truth to it is the idea that heart burn during pregnancy has a impact on the amount of hair your child is born with.
When a person is presented with the task of raising a child they will anticipate things that are known to them. This is to say, things that they have experience with. Unless parents research the topic extensively they will no doubt be met with some surprises along the way. Few parents know about the many aspects or characteristics of their their infant selves that they have lost. Some of them they will find come naturally to their new born children.
The reason is because many behaviors are innate to us, which can easily be demonstrated by people who have been blind/deaf since birth and still smile and laugh despite never having observed and learned the behavior from others. Still other reflexes need to disappear or change as the person grows. These reflexes while crucial for a newborn will most likely be unknown to parents. One example is the rooting reflex. If you put a finger at the cheek of a newborn baby, they will turn their mouth toward your finger and attempt suck it as if it were a nipple. These reflexes are some example behaviors which are genetically inherited.
Many parents expect their children to come out as blank slates, and while this is true to an extent, certain inborn skills are needed to improve their quality of life. Pouting for instance would be an innate behavior.
This behavior allows the newborn the ability to signal to its mother displeasure. It also produces a response from her; improving its chances of survival. While the rooting behavior will disappear over time, parents can attest to the presence of pouty behavior well into a child’s formative years if it is rewarded.
One mother described her experience on a gazebo when she was preparing for her sister’s baby shower:
When I was pregnant with my first child it was an incredible time for me. No offense to my other children but there is something indescribable about the first time. It is partially frightening, you have been given the task of carrying another life. It is also an incredibly fun time, though bouts of morning sickness and the other discomforts[sic] that go along with a pregnancy may make it hard to acknowledge at the time.
The journey to parenthood is long, the journey to becoming good parents is even longer. There is a lot to learn and there is even more to unlearn. Much of what you think it takes to raise children comes from your misinterpretation of the facts and the lack of facts entirely.
It is a completely new experience and one of the many diverse stages in life.