By Bre, The Toddler Mom
As soon as you become a parent, either by birth or marriage, you know it’s coming. That THAT moment is coming. The terrifying, nail biting, sleep depriving moment.
What moment is that you may ask?
The moment when you go from needing to keep your tiny human(s) alive and healthy, to actually needing to parent them (silent screams and goes to find some place to hide). Like with rules and consistency, lessons and repercussions, like actual real parenting! This is the scary stuff.
I wasn’t really nervous before this. Snuggling my baby, keeping him clean, warm, well fed, safe, etc…. that all felt like second nature. They were things that I’ve done before in babysitting, and helping with other children – things I felt confident it doing.
Now it’s a whole new world (… don’t you dare close your eyes, a hundred thousand things to see, hold your breath is gets better…. Sorry… I was just seeing a commercial for Aladdin in Broadway). This is where we start putting in the work to make sure that we don’t end up having raised an a**hole in 17 years. My mind keeps going back to what happens if we forget some important lesson? Like what if we forget to teach him compassion and empathy? Or he grows up thinking boys are superior to girls? Or that it’s OK to not replace an empty toilet paper roll? What if we’re not consistent enough in applying rules or I cave too often to his tantrums? This is the stuff that makes me want to go put myself in timeout.
However, I’ve decided that the nerves about this new part of parenting are really more about me and my own confidence than it is about the likelihood of us actually forgetting any of the important life lessons. I mean really, when was the last time someone forgot to teach their child something like how to say thank you? Sure some people might actively choose not to teach that lesson, or may not give it the weight that being thankful really deserves, but actually forget? Probably not recently. At least I hope not.
Of course, it’ll take time for us to know how things will turn out and if we’ll really become the kind of parents we hope to be. And of course it’ll be years before we know if we succeeded in raising a kind and good man, or an a**hole. For now, I choose to believe that as time goes by and we get more comfortable in this new world we’ll find our footing and get a grip on how to really do this parenting thing. I think I may still find some place to hide though…. Mama needs somewhere to have her treats in peace after all!