The second you get pregnant the advice starts flowing in. You get everything from pregnancy no-no’s to parenting tips…most of which will all contradict each another. At the time, it all seemed a bit overwhelming and annoying. The stack of pregnancy/parenting books piled so high during my pregnancy that you would have thought I was attending an Ivy League university. My wealth of knowledge was so deep I could practically tell you how many hairs she had on her head in utero.
And then she came… and in my mind she didn’t match any of the scenarios that I read about in my books. I had no idea what to do with my specific, unique and priceless baby. What happens when she gets sick during sleep training? My 9-month old prefers a sippy-cup over nursing – now what? And my latest issue…My nearly two-year-old thinks time out is some sort of game. Somehow looking at the wall is absolutely comical.
The two-year-old independence is beginning to set in at our house. It is both magically wonderful and incredibly daunting at the same time. My desire to be firm yet fun and loving continues to cause a tug-o-war in my mind. I thought parenting and discipline would come naturally. But some aspects of being a mother are really difficult and uncomfortable for me. I find myself constantly wishing there was some sort of troubleshooting parenting hotline. One where you can ask any question and it would spit back the perfect answer for your child. Can you imagine it?
Last week I felt like I was turning into the world’s worst parent. I just wanted someone to stand beside me and tell me exactly how to be a mom to my own child. I pulled out my books but it didn’t seem to be easing my mind. Finally, in a desperate state I called a dear friend who I look up to immensely in parenting. I talked with her for over an hour about every exact, precise scenario that was troubling me. I’ll admit, I was embarrassed that it wasn’t coming more effortlessly. Almost everyone will tell you that a difficult part of parenting is being consistent. But I felt like I didn’t even know what to be consistent about. I had to ask incredibly basic questions. Ones that revealed just how big of a rookie parent I really am. My friend answered them with such a caring heart and sincere understanding. I agreed not to let myself feel less than her as a mother. I needed real help. She offered the tips of a more seasoned mother – ones that I am still replaying in my mind daily as a reminder.
I hung up the phone to the realization that there is a troubleshooting hotline…our fellow Mom friends. Sappy and cheesy as it sounds, I am learning that humbling myself and honestly seeking advice from friends is becoming my greatest parenting asset. Sometimes I feel that I spend more time at my play-dates laughing about how many days it has been since I had an uninterrupted shower and less time actually making strides to better myself as a Mom and wife. I am trying to add a little productivity to my giggle fests. I mean honestly, how do you get an uninterrupted shower? Surely, one of my friends has mastered this task.
It seems I have come full circle on the whole taking advice business. In the beginning, everyone offered it. Now, it’s harder to come by and I desperately need it. So, let the troubleshooting begin! Smarties, what is something you are struggling with as a parent right now?