There’s No Such Thing As A Mother’s Intuition
Iâ€™ve never been very good with children. If Iâ€™m being totally honest, Iâ€™d say there was a time when they actually used to terrify me. It wasnâ€™t that I didnâ€™t like them so much as I just didnâ€™t know what to do with them. Those tiny, sticky hands; that weirdly freakish self-detonating soft spot on the back of a newborn babyâ€™s head; the constant, seemingly unending streams of poop, pee, tears, and weird words I didnâ€™t understandâ€”itâ€™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 didnâ€™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 levelâ€”oblivious to how â€œage appropriate interactionâ€ would differ between, say, a three-year-old or a six-year-old. Being a parent seemed like competing in a never-ending obstacle courseâ€”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 therapistâ€™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 bornâ€”but alas, thatâ€™s not the case.
I did do my best to prepare for becoming a parent. It didnâ€™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 â€œkeeping your child aliveâ€ 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.