Just keeping up with another Summer Blog Challenge topic - What is the hardest part of parenting?
I find the lack of sleep, energy and time to be a constant struggle, but I think the hardest thing for me is how overwhelmingly out of control I feel some days.
I'm the sort of person who likes to be able to research what I'm doing, get a good idea what the 'plan' and general outcome are, create a strategy for getting there - and be able to check off successes as I bring the 'project' to 'completion'. I also like to feel like the 'expert' on whatever I am doing - which is a trait I inherited from my father who always encouraged me to become the 'expert' on everything I did in life.
I love being a parent - mostly - but I certainly don't feel like an 'expert'. Although I can make goals and begin the process of carrying them through, most days don't happen like I expect them to, and I mostly just feel like I'm living in a fog and my brain is constantly asking me questions, like:
"What were you supposed to do again?"
"Where are we?"
"Who is that little person running around your house?"
And I'm used to being the one with all of the answers - so feeling clueless is a pretty big hit on my ego.
The hardest part of parenting - for me - is definitely my inability to feel completely confident in what I am doing at all times, and the feeling that I'm always floundering just a little bit.
Is this normal for first-time parents? Does it get better with the second child? Does it get better as children grow older? Or will I always feel a little bit lost?
I'm a little late here, but the Summer Blog Challenge prompt for today, August 14th, is 'Give a good piece of advice to first time parents'.
I don't have anything specific to say here, and I still fall into that 'first time parent' category, since I haven't completed parenting my first child, but here is my pearl of wisdom for today :)
Don't get cocky.
About anything - feeding, growth and development, discipline, teaching, etc.
Don't assume to be the 'expert' on anything, because regardless of how much you've researched, or think you know on a certain topic, there are over 6 billion people on the planet, and they're all different - which means there are over 6 billion variations to the human creature, and you really never know which ones are going to land under your parentage.
There are some things I was stubborn about going into 'Mommyhood', and they worked out exactly as I had planned them - so I will naively remain stubborn :) - but there are some things that I was very convinced would be a certain way - with all kinds of books and data to back me up - and I was completely surprised by what I experienced and had to admit that maybe my initial thoughts or plans weren't actually the best for me or my family.
You really don't know for certain how things will go until you get there - and then you only know for certain how it goes with that child or children.
The same goes for baby 'stuff' - in hindsight, I wish I had found everything for free because I ended up repurchasing (or wanting to repurchase) almost everything we used for our daughter after we had used it for awhile and realized what features we really found valuable. All the advertisements in the world can't tell you what YOU will find most useful in a diaper bag, stroller, baby carrier or cloth diaper.
I'm the kind of person who likes to educate myself on what I am doing. I think it frustrated me completely to jump into parenting 'educated' and then 'gasp!' be wrong about something!
So my piece of advice is simply that - don't get cocky, be ok with being wrong, and have a sense of humour about all of it - you'll need it!
What would your piece of advice for first-time parents be?
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