Once upon a time, I was a wise 30-something woman. So wise that I knew, I “knew” nothing. I never dared to make the mistake of trying to advise parents on their children — I wasn’t one yet, and that looked hard! Then I became a mother, and I am unsure if it was the intense mood swings of motherhood or the glimpses of absolute bliss, or maybe it was because I was inducted into this tribe of mommy bloggers… But somewhere along the way I started to think I beheld a sliver of wisdom. That I had something to say, and something others could (gasp) learn from… To that I now say “Bahahaha!”
Here’s the truth. I know nothing. NOTHING. Yes, I have background in mental health and social work. And yes I am currently raising two little minions under the age of two. And yes, some days I even almost begin to feel like “I’ve got this.” But the truth is the second I have a “realization” about parenthood, I am instantaneously proven wrong, snapping me promptly into place.
And that is the single most interesting facet of parenting to me. It is constantly changing, moments are fleeting, and wisdom is short-lived. The second I think I really do not know if I will survive, my daughter gives me a hug. Moments I contemplate “this is beautiful and peaceful,” chaos ensues. When I glance at the clock pleased with myself for being on time, newbie has a blowout that costs me 15 more minutes. I think all the syrupy thoughts for a blog post, and I am belted in the eye with a remote because I incorrectly chose a show for my tot to watch.
When I was pregnant, I was never told that I “know” nothing. That would be rude! But I wish I had been. Please, someone should of told me that there will be times when I think I know best, and I don’t, and I won’t, but that is OK. Does anyone else feel like motherhood is the Who’s Who of mood disorders? I’m still on a rollercoaster of postpartum hormones over here. One day I am tearing up because my children are so beautiful and perfect, and the next I am bawling because I am questioning if my salty girl is really a sociopath. She does laugh when she hits me after all. Kidding kidding… sort of.
I kind of love it though — this parenthood rollercoaster. I have a tendency to get bored easily, and this parenting gig has kept me emotionally and mentally “entertained.” Stretched, challenged, exhausted, thrilled, at peace, content, furious, and frustrated… Yes! But bored? Never. Constantly trying to decipher the puzzle that is life, parenthood pushes me to want to be the best version of myself, even if I cannot always understand exactly what that entails.
So we put ourselves out there as moms and mommy bloggers, seeking connectedness, voicing our observations, opinions, and hypothesizes, all the while knowing we might prove ourselves wrong the next day. After all, what is the best way to make sure your child doesn’t sleep that night? Write a blog about how your child is the perfect sleeper. How do you subconsciously initiate the child meltdown sequence? Write an article about the balance and serenity you have found in your family. What is the number one way to test the Gods of unplanned pregnancies? Write a piece about being ‘one and done.’ Again, I kid, I kid.
So new mamma, what do you need to know, that I wish someone would of told me? You “know” nothing, and that is OK. I “know” nothing too. Embrace the Socratic paradox that is motherhood, and don’t beat yourself up when your children and life change the game up on you. You’ve still got this. Hugs and love.