Parenting is really just a shot in the dark.

by April on September 30, 2014 · 1 comment

First Day of school 2014 (5 of 33)

My friend and I were laughing this morning about how new parents or parents-to-be tend to range from idealistic to full-blown crazy. (Lets face it, this is pretty much life.) Every day my facebook feed is filled with ideas on how to be the perfect parent or have a perfectly well-adjusted baby. There are suggestions on every single aspect of parenting (and the right option) and most new parents have taken a stance on it.

“I’ll never let my baby become dependent on me for sleep.”

“My child will not be allowed to behave that way.”

“I will never discipline my child in that way.”

“I will feed my child in THIS way, and I think anyone who chooses to do THIS is inappropriate.”

Those of us with beta parenting personalities, or simply the parent of an older child or multiple children tend to realize that life just simply doesn’t work that way. And I won’t lie, there’s a part of me that hopes that the overly braggadocio person gets a child that challenges every single philosophy that he or she have proclaimed for all of social media to read. Because the truth is, your child’s personality is as much of a determinant in their early years as it is your parenting technique.

I remember talking with the pastor that officiated our wedding almost 8 years ago, and at the time he said he wasn’t a strong proponent for premarital counseling. This was in stark contrast with the advice we were hearing, which was that premarital counseling was an essential first step for the happy Christian marriage (ha). Our pastor said that it would be better to have marital counseling, either during or after the first year, as you’re preparing for something that is merely a hypothetical situation at the time. You’re preparing for something you have no idea how to truly navigate.

It struck me today that parenting is much the same way. We encourage and even demand that new parents have an idea on how to raise their children, when you have no idea what to really expect. “What to expect when you’re expecting” is a good book, but it’s not a catchall in the world of parenting. Rarely does anyone truly have the textbook child, or they’re lying! According to my doctor, my child sleeps awesome, is sleep trained, never gets consoled at night by bottle or breast, and is by the book. Isn’t yours?

What is truth, however, is my babies are loved, get sleep, have fun personalities, and are fed on a fairly regular basis.

In retrospect, I feel guilty for projecting a lot of my fears and philosophies on others in my first pregnancy and first year of parenting. I was operating on a lot more sleep (although it felt like deprivation), and a thing called “reading everything I could find.” I’ve learned now that my parenting operates off these questions:

1. Is the child safe?
2. Is this working for the family right now?
3. Is what I’m doing going to take years of therapy to erase?

So if you’re a new parent, I’m sorry that some of us tell you “that time will tell” or “don’t listen to the books.” I know that advice sounds asinine. It’s also… kind of truth. So I’ll say this: Do the research and whatever it takes to make you feel better in your journey. Also know that we’ve also been there. We also felt clueless on how to do this thing called parenting. Most of us learned that letting our instincts take over was the best thing we’ve ever done to actually enjoy this parenting journey.

You won’t be the “crazy” person forever. (Mostly.)

 

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Should I stop?

by April on September 29, 2014 · 0 comments

Sometimes I feel like I’m writing into nothingness. It’s indicative of the way I currently feel in my life — average. Does anyone just wish they could see what it is they are supposed to be doing? I feel like I have no real idea of what my talents or gifts are. I sing my heart out, I write when I feel compelled, I see beautiful things that I so desperately want to capture with my camera, but I do justice to nothing.

People are quick to point out that I’m to embrace this season of motherhood (and I am!) but also that I am to have something for myself. But what is it? My whole life I’ve felt like I was on the precipice of something, but I can’t articulate it. I didn’t cease being myself when I became a mother. I still have many of the same hopes and fears, and I still carry the fear that I will live my whole life as someone unremarkable.

Satan tells me I am nothing. God tells me I am something. More than something– I am his child, full of value. But what is it I am to do?

Should I stop writing? I always thought this compulsion to put my inward thoughts on paper was a sign that writing was a talent I needed to pursue. Similarly, my love of singing and my photography. But maybe these are just interests. People always say that affirmation is a sign you’re where you’re supposed to be.

So where is that?

Am I alone?

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Can positivity be a bad thing?

September 25, 2014

I consider myself to be a positive person. I trust in the One who made me and I believe that “all things work together for good for those who love him and are called according to his purpose.” I personally have seen God make use of my life over and over again and I know that he […]

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Pick-up post #2: thoughts on clouds.

September 18, 2014

I love cool and cloudy days. I think it’s because it feels like the earth is brooding and introspective. Sunshine can be optimistic to the point of being pushy. “Look at me! Come outside! Go! Do! Never stop!” It’s a relentless onslaught of high energy. After a long winter, I welcome the sun and it’s […]

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Random thoughts about sin and grace.

September 16, 2014

Charles Spurgeon once said, “If your sin is small, your savior will be small also. But if your sin is great, then your savior must be great.” (Paraphrased by Derek Webb) The more I am confronted with my Savior, the more I am stricken with my own sinfulness. And it hurts. I consider myself to […]

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My four year old is not sexy.

September 5, 2014

My daughter is four and she is currently obsessed with princesses. I’ve tried to encourage her to branch out, but I’m all too aware that this is common and I simply try to include strong and non-princessy lessons in along the way. It’s okay. I know that this obsession will end all too soon and […]

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Ramblings, Routines, and Life.

August 27, 2014

We’ve developed a routine in this household. It’s the first one that’s truly stuck in the last 8 years, the past years filled with travel and survival that comes along with child raising. For the first time in years, (since B was a toddler!) I’m actually leaving the end of the day with a couple […]

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First day of school!

August 21, 2014

Well, sister did it! We all woke up early this morning, too excited to sleep. I made pancakes and we got ready. I did fine, although I got a little choked up as I saw her wear her little backpack on the way to class. When we walked in, she went straight to her cubby, […]

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Bluebelle and the classroom.

August 16, 2014

This is the last Saturday of summer for this crew, as Bluebelle starts Pre-K this week. My baby, starting school. Hold me. Truth be told, I never intended to put her in Pre-K. I always assumed I would wait until Kindergarten to put her in, as school drags on forever and I want to keep […]

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The American Dream

August 13, 2014

Today I stood around talking with some women at the pool. We were there collectively, watching our little tots complete their swim lessons. We’ve become casual friends, finding common ground in early motherhood, a lack of sleep, our combined desire for a moment of adult companionship and the common everyday occurrences in our local area. […]

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