Wouldn’t it be something if once you get pregnant you get a manual handed to you? It would outline what you should expect as a mother, what your child would be like, and the best way to handle them.
You’d never have to stress about behavioral challenges, and when they lied, stole, or used a curse word, you could skip to page 67 of the manual, How to Discipline Your Child. The material wouldn’t be generic either. Nope! It would be specific to you, and your situation!
Who wouldn’t love an instruction manual to come with these tiny humans? But, unfortunately, for us, life wasn’t handed to us with a script or manual. We all have to figure it out as it happens. What’s even worse is, if you have three children, three different sets of rules apply.
Just imagine being a mother for the first time. It’s exciting, especially when you set up the nursery, paint the room blue or pink, and decorate the walls with rainbows and unicorns. You shop for all of the cute outfits, the diapers and that oh-so-necessary designer diaper bag. You can’t wait to hold your little bundle of joy, kiss them, love them, dress them in those little outfits, and show them off to your friends.
But then suddenly your baby is here! She won’t sleep at night, won’t eat what you are instructed to feed her, and doesn’t like to be dressed in those outfits you spent hours picking out in that trendy baby store. Then you begin to realize, it’s not all unicorns and rainbows, and sometimes your little one is just going to have to survive in that generic onesie, instead of the sailor outfit they spit up on right before you leave the house. It gets even worse if your little one gets sick. She’s crying and you don’t know what to do, don’t know where it hurts, or how to make it all better. It can be a harrowing experience for a new mom, and a frustrating one even for the seasoned mother.
I remember when my son was born. I was so excited! I wanted nothing more than to be the best mom to this tiny person. But things were not like I pictured. I couldn’t breastfeed him, because my nipples were too flat, so he couldn’t latch on. The first thing my son tasted after he was born was formula. It frustrated the both of us, and it took many tearful days and nights before we finally got breastfeeding down. But just when I thought I had this motherhood thing figured out, he got a stomach virus.
It was horrible. I had to watch him in discomfort for over a week because there’s nothing you can do about a stomach virus – you just let it run its course and give baby lots of fluids, so he doesn’t get dehydrated. My son got thrush, which I knew almost nothing about.
There is a lot to consider when you’re thinking about having a baby. You can read, get tons of helpful advice from friends and family. But really, the best teacher is experience.
I had my second child nine months ago. The experience is so different because of the knowledge I gained through the experiences with my first child.
Every child is unique and different. It would be a mistake to think that you can use one as a yardstick for the others. What works for one, will not work for all. You must find your way with each child, but with experience comes the knowledge that he or she will be ok.