Having a baby is scary, I know. I've had three, and each time I leave the hospital, I'm altogether certain the hospital is going to call me and say, "Whoops! You shouldn't be in charge of a baby! We're coming to get it now."
It's like the college graduation dream (the one where you're one credit short or the university calls you to tell you they're revoking your diploma), but a whole lot scarier.
And with me, It's happened with each baby. Somehow, though, I've managed to raise those babies into wonderful people. My secret?
It's not one of those secrets you find in a book, or a method, or even by word of Mom (which, I have to say, is the only other "method" I trust when it comes to parenting). No. It's even simpler than that.
It's one sentence, in fact. That sentence?
"Trust yourself -- you know more than you think you do."
I suppose it did come from a book -- Dr. Spock's book, in fact -- but that's the opening line of the introduction. And frankly, it's the best piece of parenting advice one can give. It's so easy, all of these competing methods out there, all telling you that you'll screw up your kid for life if you don't do these 10 things, to forget that we're smart people. We've done things -- great things -- before we popped out a kid or three. We know how to get by. We're capable, responsible people!
Yet somehow, once we're given a tiny baby, it's like all of that self-assuredness goes out the window. Suddenly, we're grasping at straws in the dark, trying to figure out what to do so as not to screw up our kid entirely.
You're going to do just fine. You won't be a perfect parent, but frankly who wants to be? Our kids (and the rest of the world) would resent us if we were.
So that's the one piece of advice I'd give to any new parent: trust yourself. You DO know more than you think you do. It may not always feel like it, but I assure you that you do.
I'd wish you luck, but your not gonna need it. Just try and get some sleep when you can, okay?
What advice would you give a new parent?
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside