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My husband and I have talked about trying to conceive in a year. Does this excite me? You know it. Does the thought of parenting completely overwhelm me? YES! Only it’s more like a feeling of absolute terror. Not only am I scared of actual childbirth (don’t even get me started), but I feel like I will never be fully prepared to parent a human baby.
Just that word baby kind of freaks me out. They are so little, and precious, and helpless. I don’t know how to help myself sometimes, how am I going to help a tiny baby? Cleaning up dog poop makes me gag. Throw up is beyond what I can handle. Isn’t that mostly what a baby does, poop and throw up?
After they are babies they become children. Children that need things like clothes, food, and attention. What if they hate the clothes and food I pick out for them? (And I think we all know they will hate whatever I pick out for them).
Then they become teenagers who need space and independence. What?!? Now I’m supposed to let go of the thing I hold dearest to my heart? This person I cultivated for years. That’s just cruel.
I honestly have no idea how parents do it. My oldest sister has three boys, and I love them all very much, but spending three hours with them is exhausting. I think some kind of super human power is given to people once they become parents. I often hear new parents say, “I never thought I could survive off this little sleep.” Duh, you are a parent now, you have super human powers!
I am in awe of every single parent I meet. Sometimes I’ll read a blog about some challenge a parent is having with their child, and it hits me that I had no idea that issue could even be a problem for a child. I know there are parenting books, and supportive resources, but they can only do so much.
I mean, I still feel like a kid half the time. I wander around my house singing made-up songs and seeking out chocolate for part of my evening. Campaigns that focus on preventing teenage pregnancy sometimes use the line, “Children having children.” Well, I feel like I should call one of these campaigns and see if they can do anything to help me.
Of course, I am half kidding. I am a somewhat responsible adult. I am physically and emotionally healthy, financially secure, and in a supportive marriage. Plus, I still have a little bit of time to get ready for this whole parenting thing.
I wonder though, is anyone ever really ready for such an intense responsibility? Is there any possible way to NOT emotionally scar your children for life? I’m hoping some part of parenting comes down to feeling and following my heart. It’s never (okay, rarely) steered me wrong before, so I’m thinking it’s a reliable resource.
For all you parents out there: How did you know you were ready to have children? What helps you navigate the parental waters? And, are you, in fact, super human now that you have kids?