Scoot:  When there’s a new baby in the house

November 27, 2017 - 10:19 am

(I wonder how many will read that headline and think I’m writing about President Trump in the White House?)

After spending the Thanksgiving Holiday week in Portland, OR with my son, Sean, daughter-in-law, Lauren and their new baby (my first grandchild!), Margot, I have renewed respect for every new parent and anyone who has ever been a new parent.

My renewed respect for new parents includes deep admiration for what it takes to welcome a new infant from the comfort of the womb into the uncertainly of a new world.  We do not always consider what that transition must be like for every newborn.

As a father, I realized that the initial bond a mother feels with her baby is special; but I also realized how important the role of a father is during the earliest introduction of a newborn into our world.  The sight of my grandchild falling asleep on her father’s chest was so comforting.  It was as if the rhythm of his breathing and the sound of his heartbeat lent memories of the security of the womb.  When I watched her mother hold her and talk to her, I saw a baby find comfort now on the other side of her body.

Right after babies are born they cry – sleep – cry – eat – cry – sleep – cry – and eat – and then cry some more.  And they also are in constant need of having their diapers changed.  In other words, having and caring for a newborn is a demanding job with no set hours where you are on-call 24/7 with very little sleep to physically and emotionally rejuvenate yourself for the feedings and the crying and the changing of diapers.  Ideally, a person has chosen to accept that job willingly; but I can’t help but think of all of those people who have children for the wrong reasons.

With a lack of sleep, never know knowing when, or if, you will ever catch up and struggling to find time to feed yourself, it seems that the unconditional love a mother or a father has for their newborn baby is the one thing that keeps them going.  I wonder what kind of care and attention newborn babies get when the intrinsic love between parent and baby is missing. 

If the frustrations over the crying and the sleepless days and nights are only remedied by that special love, then what is it that protects the newborn babies in homes where that innate love is absent?  When we hear about a baby who died because of severe shaking or rough mistreatment, we think about a parent that may not have the love for a baby that is a requisite for coping with the insanity of a newborn.

So many topics we talk about on the show involve the negative behavior of kids, teenagers and young adults and part of nearly every one of those conversations is the idea of the lack of care and attention babies receive from parents upon entering our world.  And I am not just talking about the less privileged parents, I am also talking about the affluent parents who don’t take the time or make the effort to bond with their kids from the beginning.

There are countless topics to write and talk about today; but after spending time with my son, daughter-in-law and new grandchild and witnessing what an all-consuming job it is to be a caring parent, I wanted to take a moment to pay tribute to all of you who are new parents or who have been new parents.

The reward for your dedication to your kids comes years later when you realize who they have become in the world you helped them adjust too.

Thanks to all of you!

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