A few days ago I received an excited phone call from one of my oldest friends. I could hear him smiling as he told me that his wife was expecting, and that their first baby will be born mid-May. She’s struggling with awful morning sickness (if it lasts all day, it’s time for a better term), and they had to cut their vacation in Europe short. But they’re excited… and nervous.
“I need to talk to you about cloth diapers. And potty training. And what’s the difference between a doula and a midwife? Do we need both?”
He had so many questions! And like most experienced parents (hahahah!) I had lots of ideas to share with him. I wanted to tell my friend absolutely everything I’ve learned over the last year as Maya grew from a wrinkly infant to a curious toddler. I wanted to prevent my friends from suffering the same sleepless nights, the fears, the frustrations.
But I stopped myself. Because no matter how much information you get from friends, family, books, websites or experts, only you can teach yourself to be a parent. You will be moved to tears when you hold that tiny creature for the first time. And you will wonder if you maybe hate your child because they won’t stop screaming for some unknown reason… a feeling instantly forgotten when they fall sweetly asleep on your shoulder. And you will poke your child in the eye with the carseat buckle while trying to get them home in time for a nap, and you will instantly think about how hard her life will be, being blind in one eye thanks to her stupid, impatient mother, as she screams in your ear. Or maybe that’s just me (and her eye is totally fine, by the way).
And so. I love to share ideas, stories, theories, and what has worked for our family. We are all trying to do the best for our children, based on the information that we have. I will share what has been useful for me, in the hopes that it will make your parenting a little bit easier. We are all walking our own path, but the terrain is fairly similar.
Cheers to my friends who are just beginning to realize what parenthood has in store. May it be the most challenging and rewarding journey you have ever taken.
What did you want to know when you found out you were expecting? Did you get any great tips from friends and family? Please share!