A message for prime minister Jacinda Ardern, who announced her pregnancy this morning.
First of all – like obviously – congratulations!
Second of all – BABIES!! Little tiny feet and little hands and gummy smiles and button noses!
Third of all – we’ve got your back.
That squeeing you heard across the country was from all of us parents and non-parents who are so excited for you because you’re in for the most wonderful adventure and We. Got. You.
There’s a big ol’ village of us on stand-by to help you through. I bet this is all overwhelming as shit but know that we are with you.
A baby is always a reason to celebrate. Parents especially – who know what you’re in for – are excited for you. Do you know how great it’s going to be?! No amount of exclamation marks could possibly do justice to the sentiment. It’s nearly impossible to describe what being a parent is like; we try, of course, but it’s hard to explain. It’s like running into a storm to rescue a tiny labradoodle. No wait, it’s like a rollercoaster with no seatbelts but you land on one of those big squishy circus pad things. Actually it’s like having your heart outside your body and you just have to live like that. It’s like running a marathon that never ends but you get to have that feeling of winning every day. It’s impossible. Exhausting. Breathtaking.
There will be very hard days of course. You might have fears – I think all mothers do – and you’re doing this in the spotlight so that makes it harder. But please know that your fears will melt away with smiles from your baby. The joy your baby will bring you cannot be quantified. Gummy smiles have this ability to heal even the most sleepless nights.
It’s a huge thing you’re going to go through now, being pregnant so very publicly. There will be reckons, my god there will be reckons. But fuck it. This is just lovely. Just really, really wonderfully joyfully lovely. This will mean a huge deal to mothers who have felt they have to choose between having a career or having a family – but also, you don’t have to carry that. This is just wonderful news. Know that that’s really what it comes down to. It’s happy, happy news.
Whether you need us or not, you’ve got a huge group of us cheering you on.
When you become a parent, other parents who have been there and absolutely done that (yes, even that) will be your lifeline. Yes, I’ve started already on the unsolicited advice (you’re going to get a lot of that) but I promise it’s true. Your village won’t just be parents – it’ll be people who love kids, people who love mums, people who don’t have their own children but want to lift up and support children and those who raise them. Your village will be your barista, the person who grabs you a glass of water on a hot day when you’re huge and sweaty, the midwife who holds your hand and tells you, you can do this. It’ll be the nanna who gives you a kind smile while the baby is crying, the friendly guy in a suit who offers to hold your baby on the plane while you put your million bags away. You’ll see how kind people can be. You’ll see that some days it feels like it’s a really great world we are bringing our kids up in.
You’re likely going to spend the next few days utterly overwhelmed with congratulations and hopefully just joy (block out the rest). Know this: we are cheering you on and we are here for you.
Your slogan was let’s do this and I’d like to say to you: you can do this. Because we’ve got you. And you’re going to be a wonderful mum. You have shown all of the ways you will be a great parent already – kindness, empathy, resilience. That stuff is what’s needed. The rest will sort itself out, it’ll all come out in the wash. There will be exceptionally hard days, but there will also be days where everything is just perfect. And you’ll sit and wonder how you ever got so lucky.
Know that as you travel you’re not alone. The mamas are here and we won’t let anyone give you any shit. We are also – for better or worse (I promise we try not to but it’s literally somehow impossible) – advice givers. We want to share what worked and what didn’t. Tune it out and know that when you call for support and advice there will be a stampede. Let your heart fill with people who want the best for you.
Only listen to advice that suits you.
Follow your heart.
You don’t have to cherish every moment but know there will be so many moments to cherish.
I’m sorry that I have become incapable of writing in anything but Hallmark greetings but I’m just so excited for you – there are so many of us who are.
Oh! Buy cabbage leaves on your way home from the hospital!
And if you have a boy make sure you cover his willy with his nappy when you change him. Trust me, you don’t want to cop piss to the face (you probably will it’s fine).
If your child falls off the change table don’t worry, it’s happened to most of us.
One day baby will sleep. Promise.
Honestly, ignore advice, even this advice.
(And congratulations Clarke).
You can do this!
Emily (and many, many others)
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