The Art of Parenting

I am the first of my friends to replicate myself. Being in this coveted and feces covered position has gifted me with the high task of bestowing advice and my own carefully gathered nuggets of wisdom to said people. The most commonly posed question is; what is being a Mom like? My response is that ultimately parenting is a mix of three feelings; uncertainty, guilt and a sense of inadequacy.

Uncertainty

You have never done this before, so you are filled with questions. How often should a baby eat? Which way does the diaper go on? I’m covered in derivatives of breastmilk- obviously the other way. Am I reading to him enough? When do I start reading to him? Why isn’t my baby looking at the book? Everyone talks about this being SO HARD, is it because I’m supposed to learn Sanskrit and teach it to my infant?

Guilt

When you can’t answer the questions, you are filled with guilt. This is your little person, who has half of your genes, for whom you are the entire world. They depend entirely on you and you can’t even figure out how many books to read them a day. All you know is thirteen isn’t the answer because the one day you read over a dozen books, your baby screamed for two hours after being so thoroughly overstimulated. Also all the other Moms are learning sign language not Sanskrit. Duh. How is Sanskrit supposed to help the baby communicate earlier and develop their brain so they can get into a good university and be successful at life? Your baby is failing already because of your lack of knowledge. Also the library book you took out on Sanskrit and didn’t read is two months overdue.

A Sense of Inadequacy

All of that guilt snowballs together to create a roaring sense of inadequacy which grabs hold and shakes you awake at night, leading you to conclude that you are most definitely not up to this task. You’re not sure who is up to the feeding, changing, playing, Sanskrit Sign Language teaching task but it’s certainly not you.

The Take Home Message

So parenting is soldiering on, in that face of those three basic emotions. You hug and kiss your baby knowing full well that someone else could do a far better job. Luckily they don’t let babies pick who they go home with after their born, so your small person is stuck with you.

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9 thoughts on “The Art of Parenting

  1. And yet somehow we get through and our babies turn into lovable, loving human beings who go on to make their own mark in the world and replicate themselves and so it goes on! You’d think after all these generations, we’d have a better handle on the whole thing so we didn’t have to go through the try-it-and-see method of guilt-inducing childcare and could enjoy it more – and get more sleep!

    • Having been a reasonably successful human being in other parts of my life, I’ve somehow come to terms with being a complete screw up as a parent. I figure he’ll turn out and if all else fails, there’s always a spot open on reality TV shows.

  2. As usual, loved the post and found it amusing (this time feeling a little guilty as these are probably some genuine concerns) Congratulations on becoming a mother (and bravo!). Can’t believe you’re finding time to write, that’s awesome! 🙂

    • As usual, I love that someone can put the words “as usual” in their comment because it means my blog is being read often. Thanks for the well wishes and for reading! Also my house looks like a mud pit, I’m up to my eyeballs in laundry and my child could pass for the wild boy of Avignon however I manage to churn out posts. It’s the important things that count right?

      • Definitely the important things like brushing, clothing and feeding are what count. I think having a kid and keeping them alive is already a huge achievement! :’)
        Your posts are always refreshing and amusing to read, they bring a smile every time 🙂 Keep posting 😀

  3. Eventually you will make it to the stage when your baby can articulate quite clearly (possible in sign language and Sanskrit) why you’re the meanest, worstest (articulate but apparently not yet versed in Irregular superlatives just in case you were beginning to get cocky about your parenting skills) Mum in the world. You, in exasperation, will lug out your largest suitcase for them and yell, ‘Fine! Go! I’ll drive’ but they will stomp off to their room to slam the door and sulk until dinner and you get to bask in the knowledge that they choose you…they choose YOU. Awww…Hallmark can’t make this stuff up 😉

  4. I vividly remember the shame, guilt, immediate regret and overwhelming terror I felt when you walked(7 k?)home because I said” fine, then walk”. We both survived with only mild scars. At least i assume yours must be mild because I am allowed to hold your precious baby. The uncertainty, guilt and inadequacy will be there forever. I am thankful you were stuck with me. Welcome to motherhood! Love you always and forever.

  5. Pingback: Laugh a little | timelesswheel

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