It's obvious. Parenting is challenging. And those challenges evolve and change. Sometimes daily, but usually hourly. It's the obvious things, like teething and lack of sleep, that you can kind of prepare for. But then there are the other challenges. The ones that are individual to your child. These are the ones that both of you learn the most from. Like their personal fears or dislikes. Phoenix, Scott, and I have learned to navigate these things together. How he likes to be soothed when he's upset, that he gets sad if he sees us arguing, and the fact that will most likely not eat oatmeal unless I make it into a pancake for him. These are things we have learned so far.
Then there are the actions you choose as a family and the beliefs you have. I am not being vague. There are just so many decisions we, as parents, have to make for our children on a moment by moment basis. When I was pregnant, I spend hours pouring over information on pregnancy, birth, and labor. Maybe a bit about newborns. I knew what to eat and what vitamins to take. I knew I wanted to give birth at home. We decided not to vaccinate Phoenix. And I had my heart set on breastfeeding. That was pretty much it.
Obviously we knew we would love and care for him above all else. But I think most first time parents don't realize the amount of decisions you have to make every day in order to raise your precious babe. And they come so quickly. One day you're relishing in the tiny baby on your chest, and in the blink of an eye you have to decide whether or not to begin solids. Is this sippy cup going to stunt their verbal development? Is this toy educational enough without limiting his own creativity? Are the colors of this board book vibrant enough for his sensory development? Am I going to lose my mind with all these questions? Yes. The answer is yes.
Of course I appreciate statistics, reviews, and studies but above all, I believe in myself and my kid. (And Scott, of course!) There is only so much you can agonize over something before you just decide to do it (or not). And while I did all that research while pregnant, I found that I make my decisions I bit more on the fly these days. Not that I'm indifferent, I just don't have the time to stress out over every little thing. And for the most part, it works for us. And when it doesn't, we trust that there is a lesson in our mistake. That there is more than just finding the perfect high chair or choosing a preschool for P. I realize he is not even two yet but NYC is insane and you have to put your kid on a waiting list YESTERDAY if you want to even have a chance to apply. Not kidding. But that is another blog post. For now, we will enjoy learning, growing, and trusting that everything is as it should be.