It’s very well known that once a baby is born, the parents don’t get much sleep. What I’m not entirely sure is the case for everyone is my daughters tendency to spend most of the day peacefully residing in my stomach; waiting each night for the midnight hour to start kicking away and generally having her own little private party! Consequently, I’m finding it very difficult to sleep at night and a struggle to stay awake in the day!
Once on maternity leave, I’ll be able to nap in the day and who knows how productive I can be at night (there are DVD box sets just calling out to be watched…!) but somehow I’m not sure the baby will allow me to stay a night owl even if I do give into it.
Traditionally, I have always been a night owl, could it be that I have already passed these genes onto my daughter or is it natural for babies to start early in not allowing their parents to get any sleep?! (And I use the term parents as a plural, if I’m awake, a lot of the time you can be assured my poor husband is always awake…who else am I going to complain to at 3am after all!)
It’s got me wondering how soon our children gain traits from their parents, inevitably there’ll be some they’re born with (eye colour, height etc) but are personality traits ingrained from the beginning or are they picked up during childhood?
I have traits of both my parents, I can even see traits I gained from my Grand Parents and in fact, since reading up about my paternal Great Grandmother, I can see traits that come from her too. Now, I have very happy memories spending time with my Dad, Nan, Grandad and Mum, but I’ve never met my Great Grandmother, so where has that familiar determined ambitious streak come from? Through my Grandparents? Or something beyond anyone’s control? Embedded in my DNA before I even entered the world?
One of the reasons it’s been on my mind is because I have been thinking a lot about what type of personality my baby girl will have? I am very different to my Mum, I am into very geeky things, was a bit of a loner at school, and am unashamedly enthusiastic about what I enjoy. I am also very much a family girl and a definite Tomboy; whereas in contrast my Mum is very sociable, much more feminine, not particularly into the slightly more odd things I am and has always had a lot of friends. I always wonder if we would have got on at school if we were the same age! Please don’t misunderstand me, Mum and I are very close and both love reading and going to the theatre, and are both very generous; she’s not a stranger to me(!) but in terms of personality traits, I have a lot more similarities to my Dad who amongst other things, is equally enthusiastic about the things he’s into. (For me it’s superheroes and learning, for him it’s genealogy. I think he sometimes feels we’re quite different but in fact that unashamed passion for interests is one of our biggest traits in common)
Anyway, getting back to my point (baby brain is not ideal for being particularly concise!) I wonder if my daughter will be running round to Nana’s house to get her eyebrows shaped and practising her ballet moves (fulfilling a dream of my Mums that I always failed to fulfil as a youngster!) or if she’ll be at home with me creating adventures where we both pretend to be explorers in a far away land set in the 16th century. Or if she’ll be quite different altogether, and Mum and I will be standing on the edge of various sports pitches wondering who the hell she got the sporting talent from!
My husband and I often talk about what our child will be like. The chances are, my tendency to be a precocious little madam will be strong enough to come through, with that in mind she’s likely to be stubborn and determined to get her way!! (At this stage let me highlight that I’m only concentrating on the traits on my side to keep this entry shorter than a thesis sized piece!) but will we still see the traits from the 1920’s members of my female bloodline?
Is the kicking at nighttime an already present personality trait that she’s got from her Mother? Or is nighttime activity a common baby trait that’s simply led to all this speculation! Either way, I hope for her sake she’s not as much of an over thinker as her Mother!
I also hope to start getting more sleep soon, so for whatever reason our precious little bundle chooses the middle of the night to be at her most active; I’m going to have to have some quiet words and ask very nicely that for Mummy’s sanity, she swap her daytimes for her nighttimes!