I wish I could say that becoming a parent was some magical/mystical conversion that happened to me over night and somehow made me a pro… but I never thought that would be the case—and though other parents might act like it—I know now that my previous assumptions we’re right.
All I became overnight was lighter, tired, and a caregiver of two perfect little monsters, three if you count the hubs, four if I count myself, and 6 if you add the fur-babies. ::deep breath::
I wish also that I could claim that becoming a parent has all the sudden humbled me and shown me all the things I thought I’d known but clearly didn’t… but that too was a misnomer.
I still know all of the things I previously was confident about knowing concerning children, infants, and parenting. And the truth is, though I am getting to know MY children day by day, and I’m also learning how to adjust my life and marriage to this “new normal” we all keep hearing about — the only thing that’s really changed in me is that now I have a more legitimate impetus to learn and know even more. (Not to discredit my previous desire to learn and know about children and parenting. Being a caseworker, counselor, and educator were all legitimate reasons for me to learn about leading and parenting children.)
But…Now that I can actually claim the title of parent, I would like to retro-actively legitimize all caregivers and educators who care to give a rats-patootie about children.
You most certainly can be skilled in parenting strategies EVEN if you have not pro-created or procured progeny in any other form.
This could even include:
Babysitters, nannies, aunts, caseworkers, neighbors, teachers, tutors, counselors, students of psychology, grandparents (even those who seem to be out of practice), daycare workers, au pairs … etc.
I would like to apologize on behalf of all parents, humble and magically professional parents alike—for making you feel like you just don’t know anything about anything. Sorry.
I think we act puffed up about parenting because we ourselves are insecure about the quality of job we are doing as parents and even though our quality of care is good, we still fight the feeling that someone, nay anyone, might know something about our kid that makes them seem better than us at the job!
Those thoughts are faulty—but I assure you they plague us all. (Well, all the good parents anyways.)
But I want you to know. We are tired and that’s of no fault of yours—or our own either—Well, it kind of IS our fault actually—so don’t let us use that as an excuse for belittling your experience with children.
We are temporarily “SIC,”selfish, insecure, and crazy. (And by temporarily I mean it could be 18+ years for some of us.) Some parents will never, ever, exit the “SIC” zone—-choosing to remain selfish, insecure, and crazy for the rest of their lives. You should discredit and avoid those parents immediately. They suck. And they will eventually suck the life right out of you!
They enjoy the drama and want to excuse themselves of responsibility by blaming either their offspring, parents, or in-laws for all of their troubles. What they lack is the common sense to recognize that there are many variables in play in every situation, of which they cannot possibly begin to consider all the subtle nuances—meaning they think they know it all, but they don’t and they aren’t even introspective enough to realize it.
My advice: Make only introspective friends. Affluence doesn’t matter. Education doesn’t matter. Their ability to look inward and to choose responsibility for oneself is paramount over all other traits.
If you meet one of these “SIC” parents you should run away as fast as you can! They are poisonous and can be contagious!!
I digress. The point being: I’m sorry some adults are douche bags after having kids. Maybe it’s because they were douche bags before and absolutely nothin’ changed when they popped out a miniature version of themselves— or maybe they didn’t ever really learn healthy “adulting” in the first place. God help their children.
You know what you know. AND you don’t know, what you don’t know! That doesn’t change when you become a parent. You only find that out when you get to the moment of learning.
There’s always more to learn. And it can come from the most unexpected people and places. Humility has its place but so does confidence. There has to be a healthy balance of both.
This is the place I find myself putting the brakes on my rant and turning back to the source of all things for a solution. (A Soul-ution–if you will.) THE first and only parent who was, is, and always will be a “professional” is God the Father. And even though I am not a father—He made me. And He has “raised” me, and He invented motherhood. Therefore, I have no doubts or qualms in my mind that He can take my hand, hold my heart, and help me to refine my parenting skills EVEN in spite of myself, and other douche bag parents. Heck, He even made those other douche bag parents–so there’s even some hope for them!!
Having not done a lot of biblical research for this rant/post I have only one verse to share in support of my thoughts… and it is this:
“Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for in His good time, we will reap a harvest if we do. not. lose. hope.” Galatians 6:9
To me, this means several things–for all of us:
- Soldier on, even when times get tough.
- Look up, to the source, He will fill you with hope, he will awaken your heart again, He will strengthen your true identity, and He will do all of this with you–together.
- Wait. With patience. Not having ridiculous expectations, but with a calm expectancy. His timing is much much better than yours.
- Abundance is around the corner for those of us who can follow this instruction.
- God is good. He will not leave you hanging just as long as you are in pursuit of Him. Be at peace and rest in that truth.
(If you want to read more about learning to walk through life WITH your creator, I highly recommend THIS book “The Story of WITH” by: Allen Arnold. I’ve personally met him, he’s a solid guy. And I am currently on my 3rd read-through of this book.)
So—To tie it all up, I’ve been saying this for years:
You can stand in a garage, but that doesn’t make you a car.
Ergo— parenting is a learned skill. But the good news is—you or others can get better at it!!
Some parents suck. While some people with no children at all are great at parenting.
To those who have learned the skill: Good work y’all! To those whom it comes naturally—you annoy the rest of, well, all the sucky parents. And to those who are currently in-the-thick of “practicing parenthood,” don’t give up, just the fact that you want to rock-it makes you valuable in a child’s life.
Don’t under, OR over value yourselves. Just do what needs to be done. And do it well. 😉
Advice from a neophyte Mom of 8 weeks.
Let’s Do This! — ❤ em
(Sorry I didn’t post this on time— but it’s still spot on, even 11 months later—as a mom of two 1 yr. olds!)