New to this parenting thing?
It is so good to be writing again. For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Chantelle (although many refer to me as Chans). I’m an Occupational Therapist, wife and mother to 2 beautiful boys (ages 3 months and 2 years); as well as 2 yorkies and a great dane. I firmly believe that there is power in knowledge and so the goal of this blog is to share some of my own knowledge as a professional but also experiences as a mother, to hopefully #encourage #empower and #equip you as well.
Since recently giving birth to Zeke-Hunter (just a mere 3 months ago) I have been re-inspired by the natural development of infants, baby’s and toddlers. Ages 0 through to 3 are critical stages of development and honestly, it’s miraculous to witness just how much children grow and adapt in those short first 3 years of life.
You’d think that being an OT myself and also doing this the second time around this parenting thing would come easily to me right? Well, guess again… Haha! Parenting is hard, it challenges you to your core and boy can it become overwhelming (since the entire world has an opinion on how we should raise our children). Which is what inspired today’s blog. No this is not going to be a development checklist or 3 easy steps to raising little humans (Sorry!). This is an honest, heart to heart conversation from one parent to another. Here’s what I want to share with you today.
1. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS – In my community service year I worked at Kalafong Provincial Hospital in the maternity wards and it was incredible to witness how some mothers with absolutely no access to resources, information or money for baby-things completely took parenthood in their stride, as they purely relied on their natural instincts. A newborn baby needs 3 important things – Food for survival, love and being held close. If all else fails – Fall back on these 3 things.
2. TAKE CARE OF YOU – It can be taxing bringing a newbie into this world, so remember to put your own safety mask on first. Try to get out of the house, go for a walk in the sun, breathe in some fresh air, take a quick bath, whatever it is that brings you joy. It’s not selfish, it’s a necessity. We cannot pour from an empty cup. Always remember that.
3. USE YOUR VILLAGE – Ever heard of the saying, it takes a village to raise a child? Well, it genuinely does. You don’t have to carry parenthood like a burden. If it feels like your shoulders are going to cave, share the load a little. I get that it is tough during COVID-19 and not everyone has family or friends living close by or even the finances for extra help. I do know that there are numerous parent communities and online / virtual support available. This being one of them. If you feel alone, overwhelmed or uncertain send us a message / email. It’s what this platform is for.
4. DO NOT COMPARE – Comparison is the thief of joy. Children have been uniquely created by a unique God. We look at development in phases / stages and not always merely at the ages. I know this is rich coming from an OT, but developmental checklist are merely guidelines. Give your child and yourself some grace. Back to point 1, trust your instincts, you will know when there are major delays or fallouts. If there are, there is a magnitude of assistance available. Talk to your paediatrician, local clinic nurse, teachers/daycare staff or even send us a message / email. It’s what we are here for.
Here at Brave Development, or any other Occupational Therapy practice for that matter, we offer developmental milestone screenings along with parent guidance and consultations. Please contact us if you are unsure or need any assistance regarding your child’s cognitive-, physical- or communication skills development or even just concerns about their general play or overall functioning.
Remember that, “Behind every child who believes in himself is a parent who believed in him first” – Mathew Jacobson
See you soon.