Confessions of a childless paediatrician

Confession: My name is Tamara I’m setting up a new-born childcare agency and I have no children. I’m also a child less paediatrican (but we’ll talk about that later on).

I really wish I had a relate-able story about how the challenges I faced with my new-born baby inspired me to set up my new-born childcare agency, Helper Bees. It would be marketing gold and give me a trust-inspiring pass into the world of parent bloggers and forums. But sadly, I have no such story. I set up Helper Bees because know families with young babies want help.

I know that the assistance our service provides can help reduce postnatal depression and alleviate new parent loneliness. Yet knowing all this has not stopped me feeling like a childless imposter. I even considered making up a child and using some pictures of me with my nephews. Thankfully I’m a terrible liar and so instead I chose to skate around the issue in a cowardly fashion. I have finally decided to come clean today because I have realised that my total ignorance of raising a new-born is the best thing about my childcare agency.

Having never been through the experience myself, I carry no preconceptions or assumptions about what a parent wants or needs. When designing the service I sat with many parents to find out what they would like help with, who they would trust in their homes, what information they needed about their babysitter and so on. I spoke with first time parents, parents of four, parents of twins and parents of babies with additional health needs. I let them shape the service according to what was significant and easy for them. I had no prior experience to bias what I heard. If they said something was important, I believed them. Together we created a new-born childcare service that I am immensely proud of.

In my other life, I work as a paediatrician. My training and experience equip me to identify illnesses in children and treat them appropriately. Even in that setting, despite years of experience and the validation of exams and research papers, I have carried my childlessness like an apology. Now I see it as a strength, an advantage that allows me to hear parents’ problems with a clarity that prior parenting experience may not have allowed.

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