Friday, March 26, 2010

Confessions of a New Parent

Man, being a parent is rough. I think there are about as many philosophies for raising children as there are children. For someone who readily admits their inability to do things unless they do it well, a baby without instructions is not the quickest fit. I was an overachiever before Mabel came along, although I'd made a lot of progress since I moved to Eugene. Some days I feel like I'm regressing toward my pre-Eugene self. There are moments I catch a glimpse of my subconscious and, to my chagrin, I realize that I am expecting my child to fit into my life easily and without much crying. To my credit, she doesn't cry much, so its not as if I'm expecting the impossible. But I caught myself thinking that today, and I felt embarrassed. Embarrassed to admit that I wish a six month old could wear a watch; that I am sometimes caught off guard when she wakes up from a long nap (is that MY baby??); that in so many ways I still expect my life to continue the same as it has always been; embarrassed that sometimes I think she cries intentionally to tick me off. These are, of course, perfectly normal and experienced by thousands of parents, I'm sure. And so I point back to my first confession: I hate to be wrong. I hate not knowing or not being confident about my decisions. Either I do something, or I don't. Vaccines linked to autism? Accumulated sleep deficiency leading to depressed learning ability? 1 out of 3 kids her age to develop diabetes based on food choices? Hormones in meat to lead to early puberty? I feel terribly ill equipped to deal with the responsibility of making these decisions for another human.

I wanted to post about another topic entirely (embracing routine and the mundane), but this is what came out. I guess it was on my heart. Hopefully I'll sleep a little easier tonight.

In any case, waking up to the cutest baby in the world does help.


  1. I love this post and can totally relate. Thanks for sharing it.

    For what it's worth, I think you're doing an excellent job. Just the fact that you love her enough to think so hard about it all, and consciously develop your own parenting philosophy speaks measures and will help you both quickly rebound from whatever "mistakes" happen along the way.

    And, yeah, she is totally adorable. I think she's in my top 5 cutest other-peoples-kids in the whole world. Seriously, she's a picture of baby perfection.

  2. Marianne- Thanks! It's so nice to have fellow travelers in parent-land. You've been a great encouragement to me. :)