Wednesday, July 23, 2014

owning it: what if i suck at this?

When you're a little girl growing up, I think you always have an inkling in your head of the kind of mom you want to be. Most often, it's modeled after the tenderness and care from your own mother. As I begin to nest and prepare for this baby, I find myself yearning for nostalgia. It makes me sad that kids don't play outdoors as much or that parents who don't want to deal with whining or tantrums shove an iPad in their faces. I know my son or daughter is going to grow up so differently from the way I did merely because it's a different world. There are different challenges.

But, I think there is a universal thought that plagues every parent-to-be, regardless of who you are, where you live, the job you have...what if I completely and utterly suck at this?

This parenting thing? It's not easy. The weight of realizing that you are bringing home this totally impressionable blank slate is daunting. It makes me wonder how my own parents did it and how I ended up quasi-normal {or so I think}.

It's scary to think that the words you are saying, the choices you are making, the decisions you choose - they will all affect this tiny person. They will mold and shape who they are, their experiences in life, and their overall being. How could that *not* be intimidating?

So, for the sake of "owning it", here are some of the reasons why this is on my mind:

+ I have a wide berth of patience. Sometimes it's exponential and things really don't bother me, but other times, I feel like I have a hair of sanity separating me from losing it.

+ I don't think a lot of kids get enough discipline. It feels like {especially in the teaching world}, kids are allowed to get away with far too much when it comes to people they should be revering. I want my child/ren to respect us as their parents, but not fear us. I don't believe in full on spanking a child but I also won't be afraid to give them a decent swat on the behind if they are acting out.

+ I worry so much that my own body image issues will be projected and show up in my child's personality. I'm trying to be more mindful about loving myself and how it's more important to be healthy {not skinny} - but I'm not perfect. I think about how I felt in the earlier years about myself and I would never want that for anyone. The day my child thinks that they are fat will break my heart.

+ People get weirded out when I talk about how in our family, our child will come second. I fully believe that a happy child is the result of a happy family. If your child is the forefront and center of your whole universe, where does that leave your husband? Our marriage is the foundation of our family and if that begins to crack, then everything is in jeopardy. I hope that we can hold true to that and maintain the relationship that we have right now, today. I know it won't stay the same forever but I want it to evolve and grow instead of left untended.

+ I don't think it's right to tell your kids that they can be anything they want to be and that they are special. Kids are special in their own ways but as a whole, there are millions of people in this world. I think it's more realistic to tell kids to do what they want to do when they grow up as long as it means they will have a good life and be able to provide for themselves and eventually a family. That doesn't include getting a philosophy degree and couch surfing while looking for a job.

+ I worry about losing myself in the "mom" title. Before mom, I'm Britt. The girl who loves reality tv, Lime-a-rita's, smoking the occasional cigarette, and going out, dancing her face off, and then pounding a cheesy bread from Domino's. I don't want that girl to disappear.

+ Most of all, I just don't want my kid to hate me or think I am a total loser. I know both of those things will happen and someday I'll the most uncool person on the planet to them. I said some heinous things to my parents growing up and even though I've apologized, it sometimes doesn't feel like enough. I want to be strong enough to see those moments for what they are.

Link-up with Elise and share what you're owning up to.


K said...

I think everyone has this feeling. Some days you are going to lose it. And some days you are going to handle everything with poise and grace. It happens. I always try to just take a deep breathe and calm myself down. I know it's just going to get him all hyped up and I know the faster I get him chilled out, the faster I get wine. And I love me some wine.

The husband part was hard for me. That's no secret. We knew we wanted to make sure our marriage was a priority but it is SO hard to let it fall by the wayside. Just like some days you will suck as a Mom, some days you will suck as a wife.

But... for the most part, you will rock it. Those amazing moments will far outweigh the bad ones (although you won't nearly give yourself enough credit for it). You will be great! I promise!

The Good Life | Healthy Living said...

I so love this post because it is almost exactly how I feel and I don't even have children. I am going to be a stepmom to 33 lovely kids but I worry basically about the same things you mentioned here. And I think there is power in owning it and saying it out.

Elise @ Cheers Yall said...

I love this and love hearing your perspective! I've shared to several friends that as much as I feel confident in my kiddo abilities...the mere thought of ALL decisions that revolve around bringing a kid into the words is overwhelming. Completely and utterly. Everyone has an opinion from the name to the baby monitor you should to to how you should raise it...and everything in between. Goodness!!! Thank you for sharing your heart! xx

Kelly V. said...

Found you via the link up, but wanted to say I've thought through all of the above statements recently with my husband. No matter what though, I think if you've thought through raising kids this much you won't suck at it, and they'll probably be positively contributing members of society one day :)

Lex said...

If I were pregnant, I would feel absolutely every single one of those points. You are going to be a fantastic mom, I can tell.

Megan said...

I definitely don't know what you are feeling right now. I am sure at some point down the road I will, but I am also sure that this is normal for everyone to feel like this. I think your thoughts and ideas on parenting are spot on. You guys are going to be great parents! I know it!

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