Leaping into parenthood
Leaping into parenthood
Scott Dunlop
2012 is a leap year - February will have 29 days. It also means that any baby born tomorrow will have to wait for four years to celebrate his first birthday. By the time he is (officially) seven or eight, he may even be fathering babies of his own!

The thing is, all parenting is about taking leaps. Kids know how to do that by instinct- taking risks where our adult caution kicks in, and there will always be giant steps into the unknown for parents, whether we like them or not.

If you choose to become a parent, then that choice is built on a series of leaps: You’ll probably consider the impending changes to your relationship, finances, home, working hours and even the likely end to your partying lifestyle. But you do it anyway.

First giant leap: The condoms or the pill get shelved, in the hope that your body will be as fertile as the soil in a rain forest.

After you become a mom or a dad, then your entire existence is filled with more leaps than mating season down at froggy pond: Birth plans, feeding strategies, schooling possibilities, discipline choices, parenting style options. Most of us make those decisions with trepidation, knowing that whatever we choose, our choices will affect somebody small in huge ways.

My biggest leap EVER, was, as a working parent, allowing my baby to stay with a stranger at day care while I went off to work. Leaving my helpless son for the first time went against everything in my mental parenting manual.

My second-biggest leap? I’d say choosing to try again for a baby after a traumatic miscarriage. It’s almost like getting ready to go back into battle against unseen forces, with inadequate weapons.

Both leaps ended well, you’ll be glad to hear.

Enjoy your special 29th of February, and be sure to keep on taking the plunge.

What have your biggest parenting leaps been so far? Send us an email to chatback@parent24.com and you could win a R250 kalahari.com voucher.

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