Sofia is 15 weeks and 2 days today
I teach parenting classes to parents of adolescents. Being a middle school counselor, I have insight on what is going on with teenage boys and girls and my expertise lies in my experience with working with them every day. I've taught hundreds of parents and their issues with their kids almost always come down to one thing: fear. They are afraid their child will fail out of school, they are afraid their child will do drugs, their afraid their child will not become the person they've hoped and dreamed they would become. They are afraid of their child hating them. They are afraid that their child will embarrass them. Fear, fear, fear.
I try to help these parents see that if they become hung up on the fear, they will lose their child. When the parents are only concerned with the "what if", they lose the now. I'll ask them "What is the worst thing that can happen?" when they're scared that their child isn't getting the grades that they could be getting for instance. The worst thing that can happen is that they'll drop out of school and become a homeless drug addict. When I say that, they realize that they know nothing that bad is going to happen and they start to see that what they really are afraid of is the child not living up to their expectations. Or perhaps they're afraid that they'll be embarrassed when all the neighbors kids are going to a good university and they're child is going to community college. Again, I say, if we live in the fear of "what if", we lose the child. If we connect with the child we have, right here, right now, we can create the relationship that will lead to the creation of a whole person. A child who becomes an adult that can make good decisions and live a healthy, prosperous life. I always say "We're making people here!" And that the important thing is who they are - their character. Not their status. There's obviously much more to it, but that's a little overview of some of what I cover.
So yesterday, I realized that my own fears are already at play and I need to get a grip on them. When Sofia cries, my immediate fear of colic arises intensely. I think "Oh my god - what if she has colic?" What if I have to admit to others that she's not perfect? What if the colic makes me think negative thoughts towards her? What if she isn't a pleasant child? What if people don't like her? Now, at this point, I know that we're out of the colic woods and maybe she did/does have it mildly. But the point is, I am in constant fear of this whole baby thing not living up to my hopes and dreams and she's not even 4 months old yet!!!
So I know what I need to do. I need to accept every moment with her as the gift that it is. I need to accept her as she is and love her no matter what. These sound like obvious and easy things. I know that they are not. I know how insidious the thoughts can be and I also know that kids pick up on all that stuff and even if you don't say it, they sense a parent's fear and disappointment.
And so, Sofia, while I realize there is a lot of pressure on you, our "miracle baby", to be perfect, please know that whatever you do, whoever you are, I love and accept you and will try my best to make sure you know that every moment of your life.