Day 3 – MC
People have told me that the first five years is tough but after that it gets a lot easier because they’re more independent and have their own lives so to speak. I gave that a little bit of thought and my conclusion is: Don’t believe the hype.
I realised that the first five years of your child’s life is physically exhausting with everything from sleep deprivation to poor nutrition as you find yourself stuffing whatever comes your way into your mouth because you can’t remember the last time you sat down to have a wholesome meal. And of course the fact that the word ‘boundary’ doesn’t mean anything to a toddler or an infant. So there is no such thing as ‘your schedule’ or ‘your time’. It doesn’t matter if you’ve committed to body step at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesdays. If your baby doesn’t settle or throws up, or both, guess what? You’re not going to body step. And ultimately, it is all understandable because they are so little and they need every bit of you, physically, at any given moment. That’s the initial, primal need. That is the circle of life. And let’s face it, they didn’t ask to be born. You chose to have children.
As they start to grow up and figure out how to do things on their own, the physical demands are not as bad…hopefully. They are sleeping through the night, can go to the washroom and clean themselves on their own and can even pour themselves milk and cereal and feed themselves on a Saturday or Sunday morning if you really need to sleep that extra half hour. But the part of you that is now being tested is your emotional self. And this testing creeps up on you and hits you hard on the head much like a frying pan would.
I’ve heard so many friends and colleagues discuss different situations with me that I would have no clue how to deal with if it was thrown at me. Really. No clue. Let me give you two examples. A friend’s son goes to the playground to have some kid tell him they won’t play with him because they don’t play with ‘coconuts’. He comes home and asks his mom, completely innocently, “Mom, why am I a coconut and why won’t they play with me because of it?” or another friend of mine whose daughter, a shining example of a good natured child with excellent academic skills, and a violinist has a ‘secret’ boyfriend. They know because they spied on her facebook page but she doesn’t know that they know. Yeesh…and you want to know what the kicker is…these aren’t even the really tough issues to sort through.
When I was a kid I really believed and still to an extent believe that my parents had the answers to everything. I asked tons of questions but they always seemed to give me an answer that made sense or left me satisfied. But now as a parent myself I feel like I don’t know much of anything. Forget second-guessing myself, I’ll be questioning myself up and down, inside and out from here to Perth, Australia and back. All we can do is try right? And this time HOPE and PRAY we don’t screw it up.