Parenting is hard.
Some of you are laughing. Some are smiling knowingly or nodding in agreement. Others are rolling their eyes, shaking their heads or sighing heavily.
Me? I’m crying.
If you know me well, you aren’t surprised at all that I would get emotional. But you may be surprised that it involves my parenting.
I LOVE being a mom. Charlotte finally started giving kisses, and now she gives them without being prompted.. Just because she loves me! (Or so I tell myself)
She also wraps her arms around my legs and buries her face into my shins.
Charli smiles and toddles as fast as possible when she sees me.
And she snuggles!! *sigh* I waited a year for those snuggles.
Loving my daughter is the easy part. Being overjoyed in her, and feeling blessed by her love is the easy part.
But parenting isn’t just about love. It’s about teaching your child. And I am terrified that I don’t know a single thing about how to teach my daughter.
HOS asked me the other day what Charlotte’s next milestone will be.
Without batting an eye, I responded with “talking.” Well, shoot, that sounds simple…
As I sat thinking about how I could even attempt to teach Charli how to talk,
I started thinking about all the other things, the small things, that I need to teach her.
How to use dining utensils.
How to brush her teeth properly.
How to write.
How to read.
How to do math.
How to drive.
How to handle a break up.
How to be a good person.
And then I start to cry.
I’m overwhelmed by the shear magnitude of all of it. I’m terrified of failing her. I worry that I will be the reason for any issues, mistakes or problems she will ever experience in her entire life.
All of this before the girl can even pronounce bye-bye correctly.
You’re a parent, right? How do you handle the responsibility this gift of parenthood?
And while you’re at it, do you any tips on anything of the other thousands of things I’ll need to teach her?
Thanks in advance!
It’s true. Parenting is the hardest job in the world, but it is also the best job. It’s obvious to me that you love your little daughter. Use common sense, lots of love, and encouragement and you will do fine. Include your baby’s father. Work as a team. If you are really unsure, there are many blogs/webpages dedicated to raising children, but really do what you feel is right.
Take it day by day. Trust me, as a mom of older teenagers, I can still remember the wonderment and awe of my babies. I remember not knowing if I was making the correct parenting choices. Believe it or not, none of us know all the answers. We can only trust that we are doing the right thing then and there. Just go with your heart. Trust it. And DO NOT let anyone else tell you that you did not do the right thing. No one but YOU knows the situation of the decisions you make. No one but you knows your children as well as you. I STILL wonder if I make the right choices. It’s hard to reassure yourself that you know what you are doing. All you can do is trust….
I don’t cry easily, but your post brought tears to my eyes. It’s precious how you love your daughter, and I remember like it was yesterday having my first (a little girl). Now that she’s 20 and in college (with two younger brothers 17 and 18) not a day goes by that I don’t think of something I wish I would have taught my children to do or wish I wouldn’t have said or wish I had given them such and such opportunity. They’re old enough to accept my apologies now whenever the urge hits me to lament about something, but the answer is pretty much always the same from them: a hug and kiss, an “I love you” and “You’re a great mom.”
Your post brought tears to my eyes because I remember and know well what it’s like to feel that burden. You really don’t have to. Many of those things will just come naturally to your child(ren) as you model them yourself. Your little girl will want to be just like Mommy, and she will imitate the things you do. As for the academic things, there are a gazillion resources available for early math and reading skills. I found that simple nursery rhymes and just reading to my kids were enough to get the ball rolling.
I admit that I was a little too uptight with my first child, worrying about every little thing. I made a determination with my second and third that I was going to be extremely relaxed, never rushing, making a fuss over little details, etc. Maybe it’s just because they were boys or because they were children #2 and #3, but they were as easy-going, calm, and collected as any little babies and toddlers as I have ever seen! And the best part is that many of the things they learned I didn’t even have to teach them (like saying yes, ma’am and no, ma’am). They just watched their sister!
Sorry for the lengthy response. It just really tugs at my heart to see a new mom in need of encouragement. You will find a huge number of support groups online if you look, and I encourage you to find one in your city, if possible. But if you do find one in your town please don’t compare every little thing about your child’s development with everyone else’s child’s development. Children progress at different rates in different areas, and you can easily get too confident or too discouraged. Again, sorry about the lengthy post!