One thing that I miss about school is that in class, you always know when you’re doing it right. You get a grade, or a check plus (gosh, remember check plusses? I loved those). And you’re done with that assignment. Yay! Even if you didn’t get the check plus, and you did everything wrong, the end of the school year always came.
Maybe this is why birth is so wonderful to me. The start of labor might be a little fuzzy, but we sure can tell when it’s done! (Hint: there’s a baby!)
Clients share a lot of fears with me:
What if I can’t breastfeed? How do I choose the right formula (or bottles or breastpump)?
What if my baby won’t stop crying?
What if I won’t stop crying?
What happens if I still don’t really like babies?
Will I be a good parent?
And I think that most of these are rooted in the unknown. It’s so hard to know if you’re a good parent, and how to measure success. Everything is unpredictable, babies don’t take direction well, or tell us what they need. And there’s so much conflicting advice.
But here’s the good news:
I’m sure of it. Because even if you’re a little bit overwhelmed, you’ll reach out for help.
But no matter what pop culture and #goals posts on Instagram would have us believe, no one really knows what they’re doing when it comes to parenting.
Think of it like your very first job. That was pretty stressful, right? And as much preparation as you did for it, you couldn’t know everything you’d need to until you got there. But somehow, you got through that. You’ll get through this too.
So please don’t think less of yourself if you’re nervous about what to do when you bring your baby home from the hospital. And don’t stress alone about whether you’re doing it right.