It’s been a long time since I’ve felt like a novice parent. I now have 2 kids and another one on the way. My oldest is 5. With this pregnancy, I haven’t even cracked a pregnancy book (for my first I think I had 3) and have checked a few times on the internet to see how big the baby is at whatever number of weeks. I have trouble keeping track of how many weeks pregnant I am and sometimes it almost slips my mind that I’m pregnant at all. It’s not that the milestones are less special, but the road there is less worrying and less anxiety ridden. At least for me.
Sure, different kids come with different challenges (and joys!) and different pregnancies come with different worries and different symptoms. But it has been a long time since I’ve had that ‘I have no idea what I am doing and am pretty sure everyone is going to judge me because of that’ lack of confidence in my parenting.
Maybe part of this is because I didn’t send Gordie to daycare or preschool. Maybe if I had the difference would have been less daunting. It’s not that I had trouble letting him go. I was pretty confident that he would love going. I figured his biggest problem was going to be not talking – as in knowing when not to talk – and for the most part that has been true. But all the choices and decisions you have to make. How big of a backpack do I get? What are good things to send for snack? What about volunteering?
Now that it’s a month in, I feel more at ease again. I’ve found the first month exhausting for me and my son. But we generally took it easy and tried not to do too much. We did end up buying a backpack that is a touch too small. We walk to school, so I didn’t want it to be too big, but it’s doesn’t quite fit a full sheet of paper. I highly recommend testing that out before you buy one. After some trial and error I’ve also found that my son does really well if I pack healthy muffins and grape tomatoes for his snack. (These pineapple, carrot and raisin whole wheat muffins worked really well). We had his parent teacher interviews last week and he seems to be doing really well. Everything his teacher said about him would surprise no one who knew him. And most importantly, he has a big smile on his face as he goes in to school and a big smile on his face on his way out.
I remember wondering when you stopped feeling like a new parent. I had thought maybe it was when you stopped being surprised about the fact that you actually are a parent. But I suspect now that this won’t be the last time I’ll have the feeling of not having a clue what I am doing. And i’ll be lucky if it doesn’t happen again before my kids enter their teenage years.