Writing by Jasper Peach // Illustration by Quince Frances
When you welcome a baby into your household, you’re not just getting a new housemate: your entire life is going to explode into a new dimension. It’s not just the gurgling cutie pie that arrives but reams of information from family, friends, strangers and the juggernaut known as THE INTERNET. People love to give advice to unsuspecting parents out of nowhere, rather than cash (which seems like an odd choice).
Here are some additions to the towering piles of “how to live your life even though it’s none of my business” that I hope will be helpful:
- If someone has raised babies, they’ve raised their babies – not yours! Trust your gut and pretend unsolicited advice is coming from someone like the Goblin King (David Bowie era) or the Baroness in The Sound of Music. External certainty doesn’t always mean correct! In short: advice does not equal instruction.
- If you’re fueled by righteous indignation produced in department stores related to gendered clothing for babies and kids, a fun activity is placing items of clothing in their correct places. For instance, did you know baby boys are allowed to enjoy colours other than blue and grey? Groundbreaking!
- Did you know once you have a baby a lasagne magically appears on your doorstep? Well not exactly, but once you tap into The Village, you’ll be amazed at the generosity that comes your way from others who get it. Once you’re in an easier time in your parenting journey you can make this happen for new folks. Meals, clothes, cups of tea and a friendly ear to listen without judgement.
- Not sure what to name your baby? Once you have a shortlist make sure you test out any sounds the initials make. Nobody wants to be called NOB, COK or BJ on the playground.
- I’m circling back to unsolicited advice here – absolutely ignore anything in this list that doesn’t feel right for you! And if someone down the shops lectures you on the importance of keeping socks on your toddler’s feet, a great response is a politely smiling dead eyed stare while saying “wow I wish I’d thought of that, thank you so much for your service to all of humanity. Would you like a cookie?” Then you can squirt them with your breast milk.
You’ll Be A Wonderful Parent isn’t your usual parenting manual, it’s an encouraging friendly pal to accompany you through, with universal messages applied through the colourful lens of rainbow families.