Being a firstborn myself, I was well aware prior to becoming a parent, of the perils one faced bringing up this child-king in the home. As the first granddaughter to both sides of the family, I was brought up extremely spoilt, as my own parents would attest to. Birthday celebrations were lavish occasions with huge custom-made cakes and full on catered meals, very rare when I was a child. It gave me much fear that my firstborn would experience the same, since she too would be the first granddaughter to both sides of our families.
Here is my journey of mothering my firstborn thus far –
On hindsight, I have been a rather inconsistent parent. On good days, I make plans in my head to home-school her forever and ever. Conversely, on days when I cannot even recognise the little rebel who claims to be my child, I want to throw in the towel to parenting completely. Of course, you understand, all this is merely what goes on in my head. Externally, all Humblet sees is the same Chinese-speaking woman, who crafts, cooks and cleans with her. Point is, the first lesson I am learning about being a parent is – the child is different every day, much like I am learning to parent, she is learning to be a kid.
The topic of birthdays has become a big thing since Humblet started attending school. Unfortunately for us, her current childcare does not have a policy against birthday celebrations. Every now and then, she comes home showing off some new gift and the amazing cake she had. While I am totally for other parents throwing birthday celebrations for their children, my philosophy is very different. You can read that here. In short, J.G. and I would much rather take her out of school all-day on her birthday and have her enjoy herself with a few of her close friends. What remains is how we will explain that to her when the time comes. She has already started to think about what kind of cake she would like to have (Rainbow) and the door-gifts she plans to give her schoolmates (Happy Birthday helium balloons). Potential sponsors any one?
There is that tricky issue of grandparents. A part of me has resolved the matter here. But then, being in such a close-knit Asian community means I also have to deal with the likes of first time grand aunties, uncles, cousins and the list goes on to eternity. Certainly, it is fine for Humblet to be spoilt once in a while, but when the collection of events make it such that every week she receives new snacks, sweets and toys, even a cool-headed mum would raise an eyebrow. Much less a first time, concerned parent like yours truly. Honestly, I do not handle it well most times and end up hiding gifts until she forgets receiving them. But I think there must be a better way.
Fortunately for us, the buffer to alleviate the entire situation has appeared. Our second born is happily baking within me and growing more active with every passing day. My earlier fears about Humblet being both firstborn and only child is now far behind me as we brace ourselves to become parents of not just one, but two human beings. We are far more excited than I sound, trust me.
How did you bring up your firstborn?
What are / were your fears about becoming a parent?
Have a wonderful time with family this weekend dear friends.