All About Me
Our baby daughter, Eloise, entered our lives just over 100 days ago. Although the focus at home has been baby, baby, baby, I have recently realised that the previous two blog posts were all about me.
I wrote about my pregnancy, my labour, my birth. Cute photo aside, Eloise featured as a minor character in both those stories. It was time to turn the spotlight onto her – to make her a star.
What to Write About?
So I sat down at my keyboard to write an entire blog post about our brand new baby. And just stared at a blank page. What on earth was I going to write about?
New babies do NOTHING. I couldn’t just write about the ‘nothing’. No one wants to read about the ‘nothing’.
Then I realised that I was focusing on the wrong thing. I was targeting the ‘nothing’ part as the problem. That wasn’t the trouble at all. The real issue was that I had the verb wrong. Being a brand new baby is not about ‘doing’, it is about ‘being’. Just the fact that Eloise is here, that she IS should be enough.
We often forget we are ‘human beings’, not ‘human doings’. I think babies are around to give us the occasional reminder.
Its Called the Present Because It’s a Gift
For instance, new babies only know the present moment. There is no past or future for them. They live only in the now. Somewhere along the way, growing up, we lose this ability. Often, we forget that it is important and find ourselves dwelling in the past or racing into the future. Or perhaps we are told how vital being present is, and then try to reclaim this ability by attempting meditation/ taking some deep breaths / stopping to smell the roses.
However, for me, most of my attempts at being present feel forced. I put aside a few minutes to do some meditation. When I take deep breaths, I have to add a mantra to it (“In – Calm, Out – Peace”). I have never seen a baby do this. They just breathe. Slowly. Properly. I envy their effortless ability to just be.
Always Choose Need over Want
A parenting rule that I try to live by is when in doubt, always choose a need over a want. Dylan wants to play outside when its dinnertime? He NEEDS to eat and WANTS to play. The answer becomes obvious.
With brand new babies, what is really nice is there is almost no conflict in this area. They need to eat. They need to sleep. They need to be warm and dry and comfortable. They need cuddles. That’s about it. You may have to decide between different immediate needs, but it is all needs. Infants are here to show us that it really is the simple things in life that matter the most.
I Hear You Loud and Clear
Babies have a very clear form of communicating to us. Of course, we might not know what they actually need, but they are not shy at letting us know that they have a need for something.
Adults might suggest, hint or query which can leave room for all kinds of misunderstandings or breakdowns in communication. Babies, on the other hand, command your attention. We are told straight up that something is not right and needs to be changed. Being given a command is extremely refreshing.
Babies Know Everything
So my first real blog post dedicated to my daughter Eloise is actually one of extreme gratitude. On the outside, it is obvious what I am thankful for. I now have an amazing, gorgeous little girl. Dylan now has a sibling. And she completes our little family.
But it is the lessons that are taught to me every day that I am even more appreciative of. Eloise, you live in the present, you know what you need and communicate it to me in an authentic manner. You innately know how to live, how to just be human. I am in awe of this instinctive ability.
One Hundred Years Old
My main hope for you, Eloise, is that you naturally carry these traits past your first 100 days. I hope that they last for the next 100 weeks, 100 months or even 100 years. It is lovely to imagine you at a grand old age, shuffling slowly but deliberately out to your garden simply to smell the roses.