There’s No Such Thing As A Mother’s Intuition

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I’ve never been very good with children. If I’m being totally honest, I’d say there was a time when they actually used to terrify me. It wasn’t that I didn’t like them so much as I just didn’t know what to do with them. Those tiny, sticky hands; that weirdly freakish self-detonating soft spot on the back of a newborn baby’s head; the constant, seemingly unending streams of poop, pee, tears, and weird words I didn’t understand—it’s fair to say that growing up I wanted no part in any of it.

Before my son was born in 2011, I stayed pretty much as far away from kids as possible as a general rule. Their smallness and neediness made me uncomfortable. I didn’t know how to talk to them or what to say. Babies seemed breakable. I always felt like I was approaching kids at the wrong level—oblivious to how “age appropriate interaction” would differ between, say, a three-year-old or a six-year-old. Being a parent seemed like competing in a never-ending obstacle course—one wrong move, one small misstep, and your previously innocent child would either die (worst case scenario) or (best case scenario) become scarred and disturbed, stuck on a therapist’s couch cursing your name for the rest of their life. No thanks!

I wish I could say that all of this changed when my son was born—but alas, that’s not the case.

I did do my best to prepare for becoming a parent. It didn’t take a tremendous amount of brain power to realize that I had a gigantic amount of work to do if I was going to begin to figure out this whole “keeping your child alive” thing. Beneath my panic, there was excitement brewing, and I had actively decided from day one that if I was going to go through with having a child, then that child deserved to have me be the best parent possible. Full stop.

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