Because I love you and wanted to share some of my thoughts on parenting… You can decide if they are pearls or junk.
Parenthood. It changes everything. What you eat, when you sleep, how you talk to your friends and even how you relate to your own parents. It’s one of those steps in your life that will change you intrinsically, permanently and hopefully, for the better.
You are responsible for making decisions for two. Or three. The decision you make today will carry ramifications for years to come. Whether or not you want to accept it, you will make some bad decisions, some really great decisions and a whole bunch muddled in the middle.
Will you work outside the home? Can you find a great childcare provider? Will you stay at home or will your spouse stay at home? Can you afford to buy every learning incentive tool out there in an effort to create your own little Einstein? Is it worth it?
The biggest decisions you can make, the greatest priority changes you can implement will have far less impact on your child than the simple decision to live every day to the fullest and enjoy every possible moment. After all, you are the only person in the world who can say, “This is my baby girl or little man.”
In a perfect world we think the changes in our lifestyle required by the addition of one very loud, very needy, very sweet little person should happen smoothly, naturally and beautifully. In the real world we find out that very few things happen smoothly, naturally or beautifully. And that is a very real cause for the necessary objectivity prior to bringing that precious little one into the world. Do you believe you are ready to handle the responsibility a child requires you to carry? Are you willing to try even though you feel grossly under-qualified or inept? Can you handle days where nothing you do is right and all you can do is grit your teeth and hope tomorrow is better?
Every person has a different circumstance and every day brings new challenges. The biggest questions aren’t the ones I may ask, but rather the ones you will find yourself challenged by every day.
Here are a few tips from my life experience: Ask for help, seek out solid, tried and true information, make your own informed and conscious decisions regarding schedule, medical care, child-care and support structures. Don’t do what your big sister, Aunt Julie, mother or TV talk show tells you without considering your child. You will know your child better than anyone. Don’t forget to take a few minutes a day to stop and evaluate your life. Pray, journal, meditate, or go for a walk. Do something to remember you are a person first, a parent second.
Parenthood. It is a journey you will start one day and stay on for the rest of your life. You will never not be Mom or Dad to someone from that day you find two lines on the test.