Parenthood

Every so often, I get a little overwhelmed by life. It happens. I have a little freak out, and it passes. I do whatever it is that needs to be done and move on. I’d say that overall, I’m pretty easy going. Often verging on apathetic and lazy. What can I say, I acknowledge it, and I’m working on it.

When I talked to my Mom on the phone tonight, she seemed impressed with my good spirits. I guess it was more than just good spirits, but good spirits at 37 weeks pregnant. She told me that by this point in most, if not all, of her pregnancies, she was done. She’d had enough. No good spirits left.

Don’t get me wrong, I can definitely understand how these last weeks of pregnancy can take their toll. The extra weight alone just gets tiring to carry around. Not to mention the fact that a full night’s sleep is something I can barely remember, and I know I certainly won’t be experiencing it again anytime in the near future. But I actually happen to be in a really good mood today. At this moment in time. So I’ll take it and be grateful.

I think the reason for my high spirits today is that we’ve been talking through some things and crossing off a few items on the to-do list. Some of my little freak out issues have surfaced and therefore vented and released. But I want to note them anyway.

The last couple of days I’ve been thinking about parenting. And getting scared. Because it’s just around the corner for us, this new role. And there are so many things to think about. Uncertain things. Decisions. I’ve been trying to learn about the options that we are lucky enough to have available to us in this modern world. This developed country. We have a choice about everything. And sometimes, even though we are so flooded with information, there just isn’t enough information to give us the big picture. For us to be confident that the conclusions we draw are the right ones.

We have a lot to learn about. We have to ask questions and find as many answers as we can, but ultimately, it comes back down to the gut. Even if we can’t be confident in the research or society’s standards and practices, we have to trust our instincts. Because the gut knows. And we, as the parents, are the ones with the most at stake.

So I worry. About the things I can’t control. Like the fact that today’s world is so different than the world in which I spent my childhood. Maybe it’s more dangerous, but maybe we’re just overreacting. Or how doctors don’t always know what’s best for everyone, but they’re the ones we’re supposed to trust the most. How do we find the balance between trust and caution, knowledge and faith? And more, how do we teach what we know even as we’re still trying to learn and figure it all out for ourselves?

These fears go deeper than money, diet, decorating, diapers. These are not irrational worries, but they can be calmed to a degree by talking, researching, asking questions, and ultimately, finding faith in our own innate ability to do what’s right for the ones who depend on us to survive. To thrive.

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