First Time Parenting…I’m Never Going to Sleep Again

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Being a first time expectant mother, I think that I have worried about everything under the sun. Sometimes, I lie awake at night wondering if I have the medical expertise to be a nurse to an infant, although I have never taken a medical class in my life. Will I be able to effectively address a boo-boo considering that two years ago I accidently cut my own hand with a knife and needed my mommy to bandage it up for me? How am I going to comfort her when she is getting a shot when I used to be terrified of them as a child?

When I’m not stressing out about finding the perfect detergent that won’t irritate her fragile skin, or finding the best bottle so she won’t have to deal with uncomfortable gas issues, I’m constantly dwelling on her safety. How do I tell her not to climb rocky hills or trees when I loved those things so much when I was a child? Those types of childhood adventures have truly paved the way to the woman I am today.  When I was a kid, I use to go outside to play and by doing so, I found a life-long love of nature that I want to share with my daughter. But how do I do that when such dark, ugly stories of kidnapped children and school shootings seem to plague this world? I wonder how I am supposed to shape and mold this beautiful little human to be resilient yet hopeful.  I want to keep her so safe that nothing can ever harm her, but I also know that sheltering her will hurt her more than help her. How do I teach her to be strong and independent, but still make sure she knows that her father and I will know what’s best?

I think about how I’m going to have the “the talk” with her about the birds and the bees when she is a teenager. How do I make her understand that respecting herself will get her so much further in life than allowing others to take advantage of her because she wants attention? How do I teach her to be kind to others even when others are not so kind to her? How do I tell her that there is a difference between unconditional love and infatuation? I need her to know that her family will always be there for her, even when the boy she likes in school breaks her heart. I want her to know that people’s feelings are important and not something to play with, but I also want her to know that sometimes people will hurt her feelings and it is ok to feel sad about it as long as she remains strong afterwards. There are so many lessons that I will need to teach her, some of them I still haven’t learned myself. These are the things that keep me up at night.

But, at the end of the evening, when my eyes begin to close, a moment of peace overwhelms me. I can’t use any of these worries to foreshadow my parenting. Every mother and father wonder about how they will do when it comes to raising a child. Some succeed and some don’t, some do their best and get the worst and some do their worst and still end up with the best. All I can say it that I will give it my all. At the end of the day, as long as she has two parents who love her so much that they would give their life for her; they would sacrifice themselves for her; they will always protect her, then everything will turn out alright. Her father and I will be lucky, because in many ways we will be raising a child, but in so many more ways, she will be raising us.

Rhonda M. Farabee

Until Next Time!

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