Tuesday, April 30, 2013

One-Year-Old Lessons

Parenting has a way of motivating (scaring) you into openness and learning: growth. Even with the head start of nieces and a nephew, there are aspects of parenting never discussed that emerge; mainly: the relationship with your partner. While the barrage of emotions is not new, the mad pace at which these emotions arrive felt like being a child all over again. Especially since we both were dealing with situations completely foreign.

My biggest misconception? The amount of control I would have over any situation. All it takes is one fever to feel immensely powerless and useless. For panic to take over. For target fixation to narrow my view on only one symptom: the temperature reading.

And even little decisions have me reeling because of their novelty. When do we change diaper size? What solid foods should we feed her? Which stroller should we buy? What should she wear today? Does she need heavier layers of clothing? Will she be too hot? Where can I get diapers and wipes the cheapest?

The biggest luxury we've lost that we didn't know we had is time. Time to sleep. Time alone with our thoughts. Time together. Time for work. Time for family & friends. Time for a movie. Time to prepare and cook a meal. Time to sleep. Time to eat. Time to watch our favorite TV show. Time to sleep (did I mention that already?).

It's easy to see why people turn conservative after having children: it's easy to take the "black and white" path, where answers come quickly. But I've tried and continue to take the more difficult path of questioning issues, experimenting methods and tactics. I'm coming to grips with the reality that there is no "right" path to raising a "perfect" child; there is only the direction of loving and raising our child.

I don't know how we could do this without the help of family and friends. I'm eternally grateful for the candid conversations, and advice and guidance, and reality checks, and sympathy and empathy, and motivation, and generosity.

5 comments:

  1. I like my dad's approach to parenting. Paraphrasing - "Somehow, humans managed to survive for millions of years without all of these modern conveniences. Children are very resilient. They'll be fine."

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    1. (How do I plus one your comment?)

      It's true. I do my best changing myself and my habits (rather than trying to shape or change my daughter). It's a tough lesson that parenting provides.

      But there's the constant battle with wanting to be over-protective. “Making the decision to have a child - it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” ― Elizabeth Stone

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  2. Time, time, time. Sleep, the strength of my relationship with Mc, my friendships, my priorities, my ability to let go, to just let go. All were tested for me as well. The "mad pace" of emotions is a good way to put it, and it hasn't let up I've just gotten more used to it.

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    1. The reality is ironically surreal. From challenge and adversity comes happy and funny memories.

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