My child turns two. This is what I’ve learnt from his first 1,000 days of life

This week my son Lorenzo turns two, marking the end of his first 1,000 days of life. If you’re confused about the maths, don’t worry, you’re not counting wrong. The idea of the first 1,000 days is that they include life from conception, through nine months of pregnancy until two years of age. I find this way of accounting for the beginning of life very meaningful because it acknowledges that life starts with the decision (or lack thereof) to get pregnant, and includes choices, laws and societal attitudes around sexuality, pregnancy, as well as early childhood.

Now that his first 1,000 days are coming to a close, I want to reflect on how things went. Please note: this is not a review of how I fared based on how my son has developed (I don’t think we should talk about success or failure, or judge parents at all, as I wrote in a previous story). What I’m sharing here is a different kind of reflection – it’s some of the lessons I’ve learnt while choosing to get pregnant, carrying a baby and then accompanying this new being in his first two years of life.

  1. Everything is easier with a community around you. I’ve never been good at asking for help, but as I got pregnant and then Lorenzo came along, it became more and more evident that I needed a lot of help from others in order to make it to the end of the day. For example, in the first days of Lorenzo’s life, I was not capable of feedi…

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2 thoughts on “My child turns two. This is what I’ve learnt from his first 1,000 days of life

  1. Dear Irene,
    Thank you for writing on how we (parents) have experienced the first 1000 days! Ususally on a child’s birthday (specially at this age) adults ususally talk about the child’s development. But how important it is to reflect on the way we have developed as well. When my children were born and went through theirs first 1000 days, the first thing I learned was that I was learning from them as well. The biggest lesson (I still have to learn again and again): life is unpredictable, things have an unexpected turn, how to deal with NOT having control on how things go. The most important challenge I am still struggling with: to drop the goal and follow. Raising kids does not happen by the book.

    1. Electra, thanks so much for this, I am glad you enjoyed the way I celebrated my son’s birthday!
      It is a lesson of humility, I think, to realise how much a child can shake our world, if we come from our cultural understanding that adults are in control and children are just adults in the making. Of course I don’t think this belief is true, but it has surely permeated a lot of my subconscious. So being humble and open and willing to learn from our kids is indeed the first lesson, I agree with you on that!
      I really hope I can maintain this humility and at the same time be able to be some sort of guide. It’s a hard balancing act!

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