The letter reminds all parents the baby phase is hard, but temporary
A poignant letter from baby to parent is making the rounds again on the Internet. Its sentiment is one every parent should read and reread — because no matter how ready we may feel with our first or how practiced we believe we are with every additional child – bringing a baby home can be overwhelming.
The letter, sometimes referred to as the Newborn’s 10 Commandments, has been around for almost a decade. Though its origin is unknown, it’s been shared and reshared thousands of times over the years – for good reason. It offers a unique perspective from our newborns point of view and reminds parents that these first weeks will be difficult and thankless, but it will get better.
“Dear mummy and daddy” the letter begins, “Please keep this letter from me in a place where you can read it and re-read it when things are rough and you are feeling down.” It goes on to say that we shouldn’t have a lot of expectation of our infants and also of ourselves. “Give us both six weeks as a birthday present, six weeks for me to grow, develop, mature, and become more stable and predictable – six weeks for you to rest and relax and allow your body to get back to normal.”
Those first weeks are hard. Even if we have a baby who sleeps a lot and barely cries, becoming a new parent is a monumental adjustment. And if we have a challenging baby, those first weeks can feel all consuming. “Please forgive me if I cry a lot. I am not a tyrant who was sent to make your life miserable,” it reads. “Please take the time to find out who I am, how I differ from you and how much I can bring to you.”
The letter reminds us that we will make mistakes — that we will not be “perfect parents” and should not expect a “perfect baby.”
“Please remember that I am resilient and can withstand the many natural mistakes you’ll make with me. As long as you make them with love, I cannot be harmed,” it continues.
The final part of the letter is one all parents, regardless of how old our children are or how many times we’ve done this, should remember. “Please take care of yourself; eat a balanced diet, rest, and exercise so that when we are together, you have the patience and energy to take care of me.”
It also reminds us to remember our partners and nurture our relationships. “Please take care of your relationship with each other. What good is family bonding if there is no family left for me to bond with,” it says.
In the end, the letter reminds us that “this too shall pass” and to try not to get stuck in a moment. There are phases or behaviors our kids go through, no matter the age, that feel like they will last forever. “Keep the ‘big picture’ in mind,” it says. “I’ll be like this for a very short time, though it seems like forever to you now. Enjoy me – I’ll never be this little again!”