Dear friends,

Well, spare a thought for me today as I have been in bed with the flu!  However, I thought it was time I shared with you a post ‘From the Archives’ so I have got up from my sick bed to quickly publish this post. Written in 2012 I was mulling on first born children and how we have to learn to parent … as we go along. Enjoy!

Work Experience with a Difference

31/5/12

Yesterday I was talking to my daughter on the phone about first-born children.

Maria  of course, is MY first-born and we were discussing HER first-born – my first grandchild also –  sweetie Alice (10). I am not sure if you all know but Alice and I are as thick as thieves. She is born on 6th October and my birthday is the 7th October. Two little Librans together: what a hoot!

But I have digressed once again. As I told Maria, I actually feel sorry for first-born children. It is not that they are not wanted but let’s face it, it is about our inexperience, fear of the unknown and lots of other life-changes we are facing as well. So these ‘poor children’ are born into the family to give their mother some work experience … to see if mother likes it. I’m not sure what she’ll do if she doesn’t however!

Yes folks, you heard right, I did say “work experience.” Thus begins a period of trying to figure out WHAT to do, HOW to do it and WHEN to do it. By the time the ‘work experience’ would normally be over (the first week) you then realise that this is actually the REAL DEAL and you have been hired PERMANENTLY …. but nobody has actually spelled it out for you!

Once this reality hits, it is simply a case of trying to figure it all out; talking to others who seem to know what to do, or keeping quiet because you think you are the only one who has ever floundered! And of course, there are periods of pure bliss, when you know you love this little bundle so much that it hurts, and it’s usually just before the darling vomits all over your shoulder.  

Second child – out goes the L plate

So this is the way us girls learn to be mothers. And then just when we are starting to get the idea, we get clucky and decide on another child, only this time around we no longer need ‘work experience’. Oh no! This time, we know everything – or we THINK we know everything. It does seem so much easier.

And this was what Maria and I were discussing. The second child is often so laid back and totally different to the first child. The question we asked ourselves was: “do we seem closer to the second child because we were experienced and mothered differently?” And what about the first child? Do they feel left out and jealous? Have they been affected?

I know that everyone’s situation is different, but you get the idea, don’t you? I expected far more from Maria than I did from Dan, my second child. Still, Maria has managed to grow up perfectly fine and wonderful, thank you very much.

However, I still remember how nervous and afraid I felt with my very much planned first child. And oh how easy it seemed with my second! First-born children seem to survive despite us mothers having on our ‘L’ plates!

First born William with brother Harry

However don’t despair,  research suggests that first-born children end up being smarter and are more likely to go to university than their siblings. But hang on, the study went on to say:

… before big brothers and sisters get too excited, the study also revealed that younger kids tend to get better grades and are more outgoing. They seem to be more forgiving and are much more likely to try new things. First-borns had a greater propensity toward perfectionism.”

Interesting eh? And there was the photo of Prince William and brother Harry, a lovely photo. Read more about first-born children here: http://news.nationalpost.com/2010/08/13/first-born-children-are-smarter-than-their-siblings-study/

So today folks, spare a thought for our darling first-born children who we have to thank for giving us our very first taste of ‘work experience” as a mother.  What a debt we owe to these children! They did not put their hand up to be our guinea pig. No, it was simply the luck of the draw for them.

Life is a bit like that isn’t it? I heard a story on the radio today about a chap who phoned a charity to cancel his ticket in a prize valued at 3 million dollars . Would you believe when the prize was drawn, the first ticket drawn was invalid, the second ticket belonged to this man but had been cancelled. The third ticket won the prize.

How would you feel if this happened to YOU? Raging at the unfairness of life simply does not work really. The truth is some things favour you and some things go against you. The trick is to work out how to navigate your way through it all and stay happy.

 Good luck with it! Let me know when you have figured it all out will you?

Until tomorrow

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