When my first child was born I was 22 and although I worked with children in my profession I knew so very little what it was like to have a life of another human being be fully entrusted to me. With amuesement I think back to the first days when he was born and I was stunned that they just let us take this teeny weeny pile of a baby home from the hospital.
At home I just stared at him sleeping in his car seat and thought to myself "What am I doing here? I am not equipped, I don't know how this works. Please give me my old life back"
Of course this never happened. The wild ride of parenthood began. Since that moment nothing was the same anymore.
In the following 18 months I nearly went crazy (not the good kind) with desperation of fullfilling his needs. This highly-sensitive child mirrored myself so much and still does, that it scares me. I sometimes don't find a way to get through because he is lost in overstimulation and need. I didn't see that coming. I read a lot of books and picked what felt right. Eventually we both found a way to communicate our needs and stressors.
3 years later my daughter was born and those two people who shared my womb couldn't be any different. This girl is sensitive and wild. As far as I can tell a perfect mix for a child. She is calm as a river and bold as a storm. From the first moment on she was easy going, coming along for a ride into the unknown.
Now 15 months into the parenting two kids it feels like swimming in safe water. Nothing at all like I was feeling way back when our first was a toddler. For me it just proves that you can not in any way prepare for a baby. And you can not prepare for when they grow up.
It just happens and you grow alongside them. In between the growth spurts there may be a wild time or two, because even in our house it is not only pretty flowers and sunshine.
You will feel defeated, so much tiredness that it overwhelms you and in some ways you will find yourself, your true self. There is no point in trying to get off a sailing ship way offshore. There also will be so much joy and celebration of life that it feels like your heart bursts into a million pieces into the sky. There will be so many great adventures and beautiful moments.
Perfect never happens here and it was hard to accept for me. I found it hard not knowing how parenting my children would stretch me in so many directions that it feels like I may break. How difficult yet soul-enriching it can be. Parenthood will change you, no matter how much you refuse. There is no other way. I could go on and write about all the things I know about parenting my kids, but in the end parenting can only be experienced to grasp it's full meaning.
Parenting and perfection were never intended to mash well. So please stop trying.