September 4, 2012 § Leave a comment
Before we had our first baby I was determined to not fall into any of those petty parenting cliches. You know like complaining about how tired you are, how you wish your partner did that gender typical task they never did in the first place, how fast your baby is growing and all that other stuff that is fodder for family sitcoms. I wouldn’t have told you that, but somewhere in my brain I was so sure that I was better, more sophisticated, or somehow exempt from feeling those things. I didn’t think that parenting would be easy, but I didn’t think that I would turn into someone that talked about every detail of my babies sleep and bowel movements in great detail, all day long. I wouldn’t be as frustrated as those portrayals of parenting.
I thought that if I loved my baby, and wore her in a sling, and slept with her at night, and inticipated troubling transitions, and used positive reinforcement, and talked with her respectfully…
Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t think that I was better than everyone else. I guess just thought that I was going to be so mindful, so educated and have so much time to focus my energy on being a stay at home parent that I could bypass the complaining and just gloat about how cute pudgy toes are and then discuss current events like a real adult.
It turns out that parenting is emotionally exhausting. Your baby turns into a preschooler when you look away and it’s damn hard being a parent and a partner. And then your little one cries on the first day of school and you feel responsible, for everything. Some days it’s hard to listen to your instincts and not second guess yourself. It feel contradictory to feel like you had a hard day when you wanted this job, and love being with your kids.
I don’t have any eloquent words to describe why it’s worth it and why I love being a parent and why I think we just might need one more baby. But it is. It’s worth it.
There is a lot involved in assuming and integrating your identity as a parent. At least it has been that way for me, and reading on the blogosphere I would guess for a lot of other people too. I’m sure it’s easier for some and harder for others. I thought that becoming a married person was an exciting and seamless transition into my identity. I didn’t get cold feet, or buyers remorse it just seemed natural.
And maybe that’s why I thought I would not be the mommy sitting around talking about how my kid is a stinker and my house is a disaster, still. I thought I was prepared. I thought that being a stay at home parent was the key to my happiness. I know you are laughing now. What was I thinking?
I love so much about staying home but I think I need something else in addition to maintain my balance. I’ve been feeling a little off and unable to find my grip. I’m going to venture into doing a very small amount of professional work and see where that takes me.
I think it’s part of falling off my high horse. It’s part of the journey of parenthood. And thank goodness for other mamas. Thanks to all you mamas out there. I’ve needed you these last few years.