Monday, September 23, 2013
Every parent goes into parenthood with an idea of how it's going to be. You have set ideas on bed times, nutrition, learning, play time, rules, & boundaries. Then that little bundle of joy arives and turns your world upside down. I would say 90% of the ideas I had of what kind of parent I would be have gone out the window since Annabel was born. Things I said I would never do (eat sugary cereals, co-sleep, watch tv) happen on almost a daily basis, and things I said I would do (read to her everyday, play outside as much as possible, get her use to travel) are harder than expected. I go to read to her and all she wants to do is flip the pages and run around. I look back at myself telling other parents my ideas for life when I was pregnant, and I now understand why they were laughing at me. I get that parents I judged in public before were probably doing their best and now have my sympathy.
You spend a lot of time in the unknown feeling defeated. Then all of a sudden you realize your doing a pretty good job, you have some parenting victories. You get your baby to eat something healthy they were refusing, they recognize a color you ask them to point out, they go to sleep on time the way you want, they behave in a store. All of a sudden your supermom or superdad. You think hey I got this parenting thing down. Then your baby gets sick and your world tumbles down.
Our ideas on parenthood cannot prepare us for the reality, especially when your baby gets sick. All of a sudden you feel helpless. You wonder do I take them to the doctor or wait and see? Do I give them medicine or will the medicine cause more problems than the illness? Is that rash from the medicine or something else? Now you don't feel like supermom or superdad at all, you feel scared & helpless. This tiny person is looking to you to fix it, to them you are a superhero. The scariest part of being a parent is not knowing the answer all the time and having to rely on your gut, but can you trust your gut? We are very blessed Annabel has only had the normal illnesses (cold, ear infection, etc) but even those feel like the end of the world while your going through them. My heart goes out to parents who have really sick babies, I don't know how they handle it.
What I've learned in my first year as a mom is not to judge, to be flexible, and to trust your instincts. You dont have to be supermom, just mom or dad is still the best job in the world. You don't have to get up every morning and put on a cape & boots to be the best for your baby, you are already their hero. Most importantly I'm going to try and cut myself some slack (at least until the next emergency).
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