|a friend's precious baby boy at 10 days old|
Now that the baby bump has become more of a baby mountain, people have been showing a lot more concern about my well being and humblet's growth. Just yesterday, my bladder was about to explode, so I half skipped / jogged to the toilet. Just within that fifty meter distance, there were endless voices of strained concerned, 'don't run!' 'be careful, you're pregnant!' and the like.
Most of all, I'm hearing this question a lot (and I mean it when I say A LOT) - 'Are you ready to be a mother?'
Here are my thoughts -
1. When they say practice makes perfect, they were referring to learning the guitar or improving your penmanship. No one ever used that phrase for parenting. Why? Because you get no practice for parenting. Sure, you can volunteer at your local daycare for a month or you can offer to babysit a relative's kid, but being a mum or a dad? That's not the same thing.
When humblet is born, then the practice of parenting will begin. And every day of her life that follows.
2. Parenting is like getting a new (full-time) job. That is without leaving your previous day job. So essentially being a parent is having two day jobs. Dads who say mums should be in-charge of kid care because they are out there working all day should try a day at home with the kids themselves.
I just witnessed a glimpse of my future the other day when I went to visit a friend who just had her first child a few months back. Her hair was undone, it was my first time seeing her without make-up and she was attempting to fold nappies with her left-hand while her right-hand was supporting her nursing child. Help. Help? HELP!!!
3. No amount of pre-natal classes is going to prepare you for a real-life mini sized human being you are about to have. I was spying on these parents that time I was hospitalised during my first trimester in their antenatal class. They held these dummy babies and were gently lowering it into some plastic bath tub contraption.
Well you can stimulate weight, size, limbs and even cries nowadays. But you definitely cannot stimulate LIFE. I'm quite certain that as I lower humblet into her bath, she'll be kicking, splashing with arms flailing etc.
No I'm not being pessimistic. I'm being realistic. In fact, one could say I'm even optimistic she'll show that much signs of life. Point is, this mini human will be alive and have a personality, no one can predict what that'll be like.
In short, am I ready? No.
Will I ever be? No. I don't think so. Parenting is for life and I intend to learn / grow through it. But I don't think its something you can be ready for. Every child is a unique individual, humblet will be lesson one. And every subsequent kid we have will teach us different lessons.
I reckon it okay to not be a perfect parent, because love beyond measure will make up for it.