Published On: Tue, Nov 14th, 2017

Parents On The Moment They First Felt Like A Mum Or Dad

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“I think it’s those times when suddenly you see how other people see you. Going to my first parents’ evening and realising the teacher was 10 years younger than me was a real ‘I’m a parent’ occasion for me. It’s still strange going back into school as an adult – familiar smells, shiny lino but everything is mini.” Cathy

“Sitting in my daughter’s first harvest assembly the other week. We squeezed onto the tiny benches surrounded by other adults – the ones I look at and think they’re all ‘proper’ parents. Then my girl waved at me with a big grin on her face and it just dawned on me – you are a parent, you do school stuff! And other people, all the teachers, staff and pupils, are looking at you and thinking ‘here are the PARENTS’”. Emily

“Almost right away. I was waiting for a taxi home from hospital and an old woman standing next to me said to me, ‘Don’t rock him, you’ll spoil him.’ Right, I thought, he’s my child and I’m going to do it my way.” Olivia G

“When I heard my mother’s voice coming out of my own mouth, shouting, ‘Stop that this instant!’” Matilda

“When I first sorted the washing into three piles instead of two.” Sophie

“Taking my daughter to A & E, that’s one of the times the magnitude of the responsibility really dawned on me. The other lighter-hearted one is waking up at 7am to leave a festival (and purposely not drinking too much) as I missed my girl so much.” Reena

“The first time I had my son all to myself on my paternity leave. My wife was exhausted and I made her go to bed. I just sat with Ted lying against my thighs and we spent the most fabulous afternoon together, him sleeping and gurgling and griping and me making all these mental promises to him about what sort of a dad I was going to be. It felt like a turning point because until then I’d felt like a useless onlooker.” Rob

“When my eldest called for me (over his daddy). I worked full-time up until a year ago and my husband did a lot more with them. Now every question is directed toward me (yes, sometimes annoying!) but I’m finally feeling like mum now. So no single seminal moment, but quite a big deal nonetheless.” Camilla

″When my boss asked to borrow a pen and I rummaged in my huge bag and produced wet wipes, nappy bags, a dummy, a bag of rice cake crumbs – and no pen but a pencil case of coloured felt tips. He thought it was hilarious.” Janine

“My son had a virus when he was six months old. No exaggeration, we thought he could die; his temperature was stratospheric and the staff started talking about suspected meningitis. Those days in hospital felt like we both became proper parents, not playing at it, because you realise your baby is more important than anything in your life and you are filled with this fear you’ve never felt before.” Richard

“When I tripped on an uneven pavement while carrying my four-week-old baby in a carrier. It was very quick but I managed to roll to protect her. I smashed my watch and tore my trousers – and she slept on regardless. That was the stand-out time when I realised I did have a maternal impulse and it was very strong.” Christine

“Transferring a sleeping child from the car to bed after a long journey feels proper grown-up.” Camilla D

“When I taught my sons to ride their bikes.” Nicole

“I recently visited a potential childminder. On paper, she was excellent but I just didn’t warm to her or the way she behaved with my son. Realising I wasn’t going to entrust my baby to someone I didn’t 100% trust made me realise how I really was a proper grown-up parent.” Clemmie

“When you first use the phrase ‘because I said so, that’s why’. And mean it!” Faith

“Sewing on name tapes for the first time.” Olivia

“The first time I went out after giving birth. I left my baby with her dad and rushed (well, as much as you can two days after having a baby) to buy more nappies. I felt very fragile and shaky. I remember thinking ‘I’m a parent’ and everything in my life has changed – and no one else can tell.” Sarah

“Breastfeeding discreetly when we went out for a meal with my disapproving in-laws. The previous time I’d taken myself off to a squalid, confined toilet to feed her, and I thought ‘never doing that again’.” Robyn

“I still don’t feel like a ‘real’ parent. My son is nearly 11 and I sometimes just cannot believe I have a child! I don’t feel grown up either and I’m middle-aged.” Annie Marie

“I’m still waiting and my youngest (of four) has just left home aged 18.” Jacqui
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Parents On The Moment They First Felt Like A Mum Or Dad