My Dearest Jaime
I know finding out you were pregnant at 20 was not ideal, in fact it was far from ideal.
When you envisaged Children you expected to be married and settled and obviously be financially comfortable.
Fear not however Jaime, if there is one thing you have learnt through the 17 years since this moment (yes that’s right life does carry on, even if you may not think it) is that money although helpful does not always mean security nor does it mean life will be rosy.
Over the next few years things will improve you will gain a confidence that seems to be failing you right now. You will have a beautiful daughter and then go on to have 2 more children, two beautiful boys. I know you are immensely stressed about being pregnant right now but here’s some words of wisdom to you from your more experienced self…
Quality works in your favour for most things to do with parenting. Cheap school shoes will mean buying twice, it’s a false economy and one that works with baby equipment too. However there is a massive difference in ‘cheap’ than there is in cost effectiveness.
Baby poo is vile and your babies won’t care where they aim it. It will wash and you can laugh about it later down the line. It does not mean you are failing at parenting it means you have had a sh*t day and ended up with it on your face thanks to your middle son with an epic aim.
Muslin cloths are the work of the devil, they never ever soak up baby puke so don’t waste your money on them, use a clean hand towel, so much more productive than washing a dozen muslin clothes just for one bout of reflux sick up.
Research before buying, this was a lesson you learnt after you second child and could have ideally have used this wisdom from the off. Seek out deals and keep your ear to the ground on discounts.
No one is a better parent than you … as social media takes off ignore it. Those that shout the loudest tend to be the ones that need the reassurance that they are in fact doing it right. The lesson to learn here is to talk, be open but don’t ever feel like someone has this parenting lark down better than you, they don’t, they just parent differently and what you might not see if the aspect they are struggling with behind closed doors.
Boob or bottle, make your own decisions! Obviously boob has been found to be a better option for baby, however this being 17 years ago you will be put under strain revert to a bottle as “you’re not producing enough to fill her” ignore that person they are an idiot with limited knowledge, even if they don’t think it. Do what you want to do.
What ever else this parenting lark is going to chuck at you, go with the flow my dearest younger self. Life gets even more complicated and harder than it is right now but trust me you are epic and so can totally navigate it. In fact sitting here 17 years later I am so very proud of you.
(aged 37 1/4)
P.s The pushchair you loved so much and have now purchased, take it back the wheel shears off 3 weeks after Beth is born and it’s a very long and hard 2 mile walk home… Buy the blue one instead.
I was asked by Tesco to write myself a letter to my first pregnant self to reflect on what I know now compared to all those years ago when I was newly pregnant.
After teaming up with Dr Carol Cooper (Health and parenting expert) to explore research on what worries parents, the conclusion is that preparing for a family is key but experience and knowledge are power is one that doesnt really surprise me. As each of my children have been born I have more and more laid back about the whole situation and this is obviously why.
If you are looking to get some advice on key parenting worries such as bed and bath time routines and even skincare and weaning then fear not as Tesco’s Baby Event is in stores nationwide from this week where parents will be able to take advantage of great deals on baby essentials and get helpful advice.