It's interesting how intimidating parenthood can be. I mean, how much trouble can these little people really cause?
I remember being afraid to leave the hospital with my first child. Breastfeeding alone had me completely flustered, and I'd grip my husband's hand every time this teeny little mouth would latch on to me. And then again when my mother left, after taking care of me, the baby, my husband and my apartment for 10 days, I was afraid. How on earth was I going to do this?
As the years have passed and more children have joined our family, I wish I could say that all the fear has left me. It hasn't. Just tonight as I laid the last child down to sleep, I thought "Phew, I made it through another day." Today, I forgot to send my son's homework back to school with him. Also, an apple for his class project. I prayed all day long that my 14 month old would take a decent nap (she's teething) because I didn't feel confident that I could get through the second half of the day without some kind of a breather. I find my daughter's math homework (she's in 3rd grade) perplexing, I hope I'll remember to wash the jam off their faces before they leave the house, and if I've not run so late that they didn't get a sack lunch - I am relieved.
They say dogs can smell fear. Well, I think children can, too.
From the time they are 20 inches long they can tell what you're thinking and feeling. I think I've gotten the baby thing down. (That's why I keep having them. :) I feel very, VERY competent calming a fussy baby. I vividly remember watching my mother-in-law with one of my colicky infants. She took him into her arms with such surety. And rather than get flustered by his cries, nervously rambling or throwing gas drops at him (not that I ever did that, lol) she just gently swayed him and softly sang him a song. At first I thought "Come on, he can't even hear you!" But it totally worked. He could sense that she not only knew what she was doing, but she KNEW she knew what she was doing. And that was a lesson to me. (Do not let the 20 inch little people intimidate you! Lol.)
Now, the 32 inch and up little people still get the best of me sometimes. Especially out in public. But I am getting better at that, too. However, anywhere we go there is a potential risk that I will lose control of them. They're that unpredictable. (Aren't they all? And have you noticed how the world transforms into this mecca of testing grounds once you've got a kid? I never got nervous eating out before I had a 2 year old that could not master a chair with no restraining devices.)
The first time I took all 4 kids out by myself (and the Sasha was barely 2 months old) I was sweating BULLETS I tell you. Oh my gosh the sweet feeling of relief that washed over me as I exited the check-out line with 4 smiling faces was like none other. And a few women that I passed on my way out of the store said ego boosting things, like "You're amazing." and "You're so brave!" And I thought "Here, here! I am not afraid!"
Of course there are also the fears I have yet to encounter, but know I will have to face. Bigger fears like sending my children off to junior high where the other kids will be pressuring them to grow up too fast, shut themselves off from me, and make poor decisions. Fears like letting them drive, and date and move away for college. And I know they will be watching me as they go through these things, to see how confident I am in them, and therefore myself as a parent.
What are your apprehensions? Getting through church without a meltdown perhaps? Or discussing serious issues with your teenagers? Life can be pretty tricky when you're raising a family. So please share your thoughts - funny stories, clever anecdotes, and pearls of wisdom are all welcome. If you'll link up below and leave a comment, my co-host Morning Glory and I will stop by and read what you have to say!