"I hope you keep your sense of humour"

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Knowing at least a handful of close friends who are either a few days away from becoming a parent or who've recently found out the good news, brings me to remember the experiences I had with new parents as an au pair.

Read more: 6 lessons I learnt as an au pair

It takes me back to those first few days of a mother and father's journey into parenthood. When mother and child return from the hospital to begin the first few days of bonding at home.

It's a warm, endearing and joyful time and I've been living vicariously through my friends who'll soon go through the processes while anticipating all the ups and the downs of being a parent.

My wishes for you as a parent

1. I hope that your child never goes a day without remembering that they are loved, cared for and secure. 

2. I hope that you never go a day without acknowledging the unconditional love that your child has for you. You are their hero. Your child is watching you and sees you as an example of the type of person they should become. 

3. I hope you remember what being non-parent was like and that most of us aren't really that keen on hearing all about the quantity or quality of your child's poop, vomit or snot. 

4. I hope your child develops a liking to old-school movies, especially movies from the 80's. You know, the classics: ET, The Little Mermaid, The Land Before Time. They're not quite the same as the movies of today but they inspired so much of our childhood imagination and creativity.  

5. I hope that your child learns to understand the history and heritage of our country. I hope you're able to teach them the facts so that they can form their own thoughts and feelings without being influenced by yours.

6. And with that, I hope that he or she is able to define the difference between freedom of speech and hate speech. I hope they're brave enough to inspire others to know what's okay and what's not okay to say and to be sensitive to other cultures, races, ages, genders and beliefs.

7. I hope that you keep your sense of humour. Laughing together will keep you connected with your child, your partner and your friends when times are tough. 

8. I hope that your child learns to keep their feet on the ground through having had some sense of responsibility. Teach them to understand accountability, to exercise loyalty and to value honesty. 

9. I hope that we stay connected as friends. I know things will be different and that it won't always be easy to see each other, but I hope we'll still be a part of each other's lives even if just over messages and phone calls. 

I hope you remember that it's okay to ask for help sometimes. You haven't failed as a parent just because you've had a few bad days where you wanted to give up and run away from it all. Ask your mom. Ask the babysitter. Ask me.

What do you wish the most for soon-to-be parents? Send us your comment to chatback@parent24.com.

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