Do you ever feel like you aren’t “adult enough” to have a kid?
Growing up, I never remember a time when I didn’t see my parents as people who had it all figured out– whatever “it” is anyway. I never remember them worrying about paying the bills on time, that they were spending too much or too little time with us, or that we weren’t hitting milestones. Now, many of this could be because I’m the last of three children and by the third, you just completely throw the guidebook out the window – hell, you probably just give it to the first to use as a coloring book because coloring books can be way too expensive considering kids simply scratch over the page in three seconds with one color and are bored with it.
More likely, however, it was that they did worry but I was just too young to notice. They must have worried, right? Sometimes I just stare at my beautiful baby and think “wow, I really hope I don’t screw you up that much.” I mean, it’s inevitable that we are going to mess up our children to some degree. I’m a fairly adjusted member of society with a house, job, and some savings, but I will never get the hang of parallel parking, have zero idea how taxes work, and I’ll never fully remember how to spell “restaurant” (even with spellcheck, I’m doubting that this is the correct spelling). And I’m pretty terrible with dates – I almost forgot my first wedding anniversary. John is equally bad with dates, so at least neither one of us were too hurt by that (since he also almost forgot) – I really hope we don’t forget Abby’s birthday. I should probably set a reminder in my phone now.
When I think back to years ago – maybe not even that long ago –I remember imagining what my life would be like. I’d imagine that by the time I had a child, I’d be fully emerged into a career I loved, travel to exotic places every weekend, live in the coolest city in the entire world, and not once, ever worry about responsibilities or money. And I would tell myself by the time I have my own child, I will have everything figured out. Well, I don’t. I literally am just making it up as I go along. Case in point, this week we found out Abby’s fascination with laundry baskets. She can sit in one for almost an hour with no qualms. It’s amazing how much you can get done when a five-month old is entertaining herself. John thought perhaps this may be construed as “bad-parenting” so I threw some toys in there. That makes it a playpen, right? (On a side note – I mentioned this to my mother and apparently I spent a good amount of time in a laundry basket as well.)
I guess, I just want to be the best mom I can for Abby. I want her to grow up to not see us worry about finances or milestones, but to also learn the importance of responsibility. And when she does make mistakes, which she will because we all do, I want her to know she can overcome them and to learn from them. I want to help her grown and learn and be an incredible person, but I want it to also be okay if she stumbles at points, or takes a wrong turn, or never learns to parallel park. And if she doesn’t have “it” all figured out by the time she thought she would, or her plan doesn’t work out exactly as she imagined, I hope she’ll be strong enough to adjust her plan and learn to love her new path.