Parenthood, Part I: You’re doing a good job. I swear.

It’s so many things at the same time.  Hilariously entertaining, frequently disgusting, exhausting, grounding, constantly surprising…  It’s really such a remarkable experience to survive still smiling.

It seems like parenting can be a series of oops moments.  Our current predicament:  I caved and bought Silas P. some organic bunny grahams.  Needless to say he is in love.  I tend to shy away from food that isn’t nutritious in some way.  Graham crackers don’t fit the nutrition bill for me.  But I got them anyway.  Suddenly my stellar healthy eater who eats broccoli and black beans and bleu cheese wants only bunny crackers and raisins.   And it will be ok.  Clearly I get less worked up than I used to when I have a parenting dilemma.

Sometimes, in the thick of a new bad habit, parents second guess what their guts say and take all sorts of advice (we are included here) and sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn’t.  It’s easy to feel like you’re always doing something wrong.  You’re not.  I promise. Take your fretting as reassurance that you care enough to make good decisions and that you are not failing your babe.

I only know two things about babies for certain:

1.  All babies are different.  Sometimes they are VERY different, and yet they’re all called babies like it’s supposed to mean something is supposed to hold constant and true for each of them.  You know your baby better than anyone else does.  Ask for help when you need it, ask for advice when you need it (I tend to call my mama, but call the person who will be honest with you when you’re too in-the-moment to be rational).

2.  People give advice and make observations about your parenting because they care about you (which by no means is to say that you should heed their words) OR because they don’t remember what it’s like over here in the messy bits where sleep deprivation, dirty hair and curious stains on everyone’s clothing are part of the norm.  It’s really hard (I say with a belt full of experience in this department), but taking advice and opinions personally is a recipe for parental misery.  Resist, friends.

The rest is a glorious chaos that requires surrender.  Yes, even for the type A’s among us.  These are the things I’m reminding myself as we gear up for round two.

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