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Parenting is Not for the Faint at Heart!

Parenting is the one adventure in life that you are thrown into without any experience or instruction manual. (Oh, we all think we are so prepared!) I started out reading, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, of which I read every page taking notes on how I was to succeed in this
journey of parenthood. And then the day arrived…my bundle of joy was finally here. I meant to read the follow up book, What to Expect in the First Years…but I decided it was a better idea to actually feed, diaper, and bathe my child instead of reading a book that only reminded me of
all the things I was not accomplishing. Or better yet I chose to sleep…what was that you say…yes, the activity I used to do when the sun went down.

Sorry I digress…then as fate would have it, as I was gaining my confidence thinking… “Parenting, I got this! I can do this!” I was blessed with twin daughters, 4 ½ weeks before my firstborn son was 1 years old. (ok so the reference I made to the activity after the sun went down…well you do the math). So now the word SLEEP left my vocabulary for what seemed like
FOREVER.


I was told many times in the following years, “you need to write a book on how to parent.” In reality, that book would simply be one page with the profound statement:  “Do What Works!”


So now as I write this, I am still overwhelmed at the daunting task of being part of the creation of another human being (ok so my husband does get some credit here). At the hospital they trusted me to take this new life home and raise it to become an upstanding citizen to one day
take care of itself. I remember leaving the hospital thinking, “Just pretend you know what you are doing. Act casual. Maybe no one will see that you don’t have a clue what you are doing.”

The task of parenting can be overwhelming AND at the same time the most rewarding accomplishment you will have ever achieved. I say achieved, not because I think the job of parenting is ever really over for me, but now as I type and I have young adults, the adventure of
parenting takes a new turn.


As I look over the past 24 years of parenting I would by no means say I am an expert or have all the answers. I am just a mom who survived the pains of childbirth, (one with an epidural and two without…ok that is a different blog), toddlers, dropping them off for Kindergarten, the
challenges of elementary, the drama of middle school, the drama continues…high school, dropping them off for college (much like the tears of Kindergarten), college graduation, and so many adventures in between.


So, looking back, What would I tell my 30 year-old brand-new parent-self?

 

  • Begin with the end in mind.
  • How I see my child has a profound influence on who they will become.
  • My job is to provide safety and love, and structure experiences to help
  • my children mature.
  • Their job is to respond by Taking a Risk—Failing or Succeeding—Learning a Lesson—Repeat.
  • And, Understand the difference between wanting my child to be Good vs. Wanting them to make Good Choices.


I remember the times when panic would set in…what the heck were we thinking that we could raise not 1 but 3 children!!! So parents, I commend you and encourage you.

You Can Do This!

There will be days that it will be difficult and you will want to run and hide…and days that you can raise your head and be proud to wear your mom or dad badge. But know that we are all in this together, struggling and faking that we know what we are doing. In the end, these beings that we have created will impact the world around us….how’s that for pressure?! Preparing a child to become an adult is Not for the Faint at Heart!


WRITTEN BY Nancy Williams