In life, often as it so turns out, you tend to get what you always wanted but at a time not most convenient to you, rather at a time pre-ordained. Moreover, it turns out to be a little different to what you wanted or expected it to be. And it may leave you feeling overwhelmed, struggling for control, always living for the moment or the day, if you did last that long :D.
Parenting has been one such experience for me. I wonder if it would’ve been any different if there was a degree to be earned before becoming a parent. Like one of those finishing schools or an MBA school, a Parenting School. Allow me a small flight of fancy. A school where one would be appraised about how it would totally alter all aspects of one’s life – physical, emotional, psychological…..
Case studies on how-to’s and what-if’s, debating the if-then situations. Elementary and practical education on nutrition, hygiene, basics of amusing your child, value-systems one want’s to teach, co-parenting for fathers, being up-to-date with modern trends in education, practical sessions on smiling in spite of sleep deprivation, how to take 30-second showers, handling parenting advice, dealing with judgement on parenting ways, so on and so forth. Alpha individuals could perhaps opt for the Tiger Parenting Program, or How to raise a future PM/a Michelin Star Chef/Musical Diva…….. And voila, after all these assignments you have earned the degree to become a Parent. Later, you can follow a separate program for the teen-years, another for Young Adults.
Would one be better prepared then? Life throws a googly. Classroom situations and parenting books are immediately forgotten as soon as one becomes a parent. Do remember that chemistry, genetics and good old timing have already worked for you when you see the two pink lines. And you are walking on unfamiliar grounds as you walk in to the birth-room. Mine did.
I began my parenting lessons with my baby’s first wail. Little babies don’t come with patience and you have to go strictly by the ear and heart and common sense to decode all their needs. A well-fed snugly sleeping baby is a joy to behold and whew, worth the effort. The first smile, the toothless grin of recognition, when your baby flaps her arms to be picked up; have been some memorable moments of my life.
You learn to go with the flow, remember you are only as old as your baby is. Each milestone is to be enjoyed, anticipated, celebrated, and shared. A word of caution: do this with interested parties only and in small doses. Remember to breathe deeply and it would do well to teach your child too.
Ok, your child has started solids and can toddle/walk, don’t forget to read, sing to your child, introduce potty training. Your child does not get it, don’t despair; join a forum for more ideas. When he/she is napping, brush up on phonics. Don’t despair colour on the walls. Well done, your child can read, write too? Pat-on-the-back. Ok, school time then. Prepare, settle down into a routine, maybe life is a bit more predictable now. But no, not always.
Congratulations, you have successfully embarked on the Sibling Project! Life is sure going to be a lot more fun. Let your older child into the picture soon, prepare him/her well regarding the arrival of the second child. And be prepared for another topsy-turvy spin to everything you have managed to establish so far. Maybe you want to enroll for the Sibling study programme and why nothing is going to be the same the second time around. There are courses on Prioritizing needs, equal does not mean the same, Potty training – 2nd time, and how to teach your 2nd child the same in less time, time-management basics, getting to know the husband, being a fair negotiator, maybe. Whew, whoever said it was going to be any easier. You are on a roller-coaster. Enjoy the ride.
Disclaimer: The course does not cover a lot of other variables in a functional adult’s life – work-life balance, career progression, job change, moving cities/countries, grandparents and views, pets, etc. You will have to discount these on your own.
Vibha, aka Chatty Wren, is a full-time mother to two delightful little girls. She blogs at http://wrenwarbles.blogspot.com about her life with her little ones, ups and downs of living in a foreign country and anything else that catches her fancy.