We did not get to see our brand new great-nephew this past weekend because he had to go back to the hospital to be put under the bilirubin lights for a case of newborn jaundice, a common occurrence, but nonetheless hard on new parents who just want to take their baby home and start being a family. My niece sent me a picture of the Little Dude with his shades on under the lights, and it looked like he was squawking. How stressing for new parents to have to sit and watch their baby cry and not be able to pick him up. He’s home now, though, and I think all is well, or will be, once they get into a flow.
Though our own two little guys had to go back to the hospital for hernia operations when they were a few months old, I don’t remember having to return any of our children within the first few days. There were times when they were older when we might have liked to return them, but my husband says we waited too long, and the Manufacturer’s warranty had long run out.
When we had our first baby, we were only 23 and 24. We had no money saved and lived in a one-bedroom apartment until less than a week before our daughter, Emily, was born. We had just moved into our two-bedroom place when I went into labor. I’m pretty sure we had to use a credit card to get our newborn out of hock. When I was teaching, if someone asked me about my children, I would ask them if they were talking about my students or the kids I bought on credit.
Parenting is darn hard. No instruction book comes with your kids, and one-size-fits-all doesn’t work anyway. As my daughter, a mother herself, has said many times, you do the best you can and hope all your mistakes can be fixed in therapy.
If you’re lucky, you have a host of other people who help you with parenting, even if you or they aren’t aware of it. Obviously, grandparents and aunties and uncles can take over some of the burdens or parenting, but good teachers and friends can be positive influences as well. They all help fill in the gaps that we parents have. As a parent, you can’t be 100% all the time, no matter how much you try. I thank God that he put so many wonderful people in my children’s lives as they were growing up, particularly an incredible friend, now in her eighties, who was like an Auntie Mame to them. And my middle child’s godparents, bless their hearts, who always believed in him, encouraged him, and helped him out financially at times.
It does, indeed, take a village to raise up a child. My husband and I are so happy that we get to be part of the village who will be raising this precious child.