Monday, January 16, 2012
When Abbey was born, I was pretty relaxed about the whole thing (once the actual birth was over, that is, and I realised I wasn't actually going to die). I was in hospital for two nights and things went incredibly smoothly in that time: she fed perfectly straight away, she slept well, and I was comfortable handling her. (Want to hit me yet?) The nurses asked me jokingly every day, 'Are you sure you don't have other kids stashed away somewhere? You look like you've done this before.'
The first year went along like that - the exception being mastitis (the universe saved you the bother of hitting me, by doing it for you), and the screaming which preceded all daytime sleeps. I could see my baby was happy, healthy, growing and developing well, and I knew everything was okay. I trusted my instincts.
Sometime after she turned one, perhaps coinciding with the onset of tantrums and the like, I started to second guess everything. Was I saying the right thing? Being a good enough example to her? Should I have done that differently?
And slowly, over the last two years, I sent myself a little insane. With every question of myself, I got a little more down about life. It's exhausting, questioning every single little thing you do, day in and day out.
So, using my early parenting self as inspiration, I took the leap - to simpler parenting.
I'm now once again trusting in my instincts, and knowing that everything is okay. And it is - always has been. My little girl is the happiest, healthiest child ever. No amount of worrying or second-guessing is going to make her life better; her life is already just right.
It's a relief to let myself relax into my own style again.
My writing friend Karen, whose perspective always makes me think, sums it up perfectly in her latest post: "Perhaps our parental contributions have long been made (in the form of their genes), and our job is just to sit back and watch the story unfold, trying really hard not to second-guess the ending."
It's time to sit back and let our lives unravel.
Posted at 2:19 PM