Parenting is a huge responsibility, probably the biggest job ever known to man. That’s because it’s a 365-day a year every year job after the initial smack on the rear and bawl of the lungs of that beautiful baby boy or girl. As you hold your newborn close to you, you just get all tingly inside because of its beauty.
And, if it were possible, the baby should look up at you as the Carpenter’s music starts playing and sing, “We’ve only just begun. . .”
Yes, you just became a parent. Translation, your life just changed. As I reminisce on my life experiences with three sons, I can think of at least five things that took a dramatic turn for me.
My babies gave me many life changing moments that served as great writing material. I know that sounds terrible. I couldn’t help it. Who can’t get inspired watching a baby sleep or play, or listen to him mouth his first words? You get to brag in writing about baby’s first words, baby’s first sentences. Parents keep journals of all the goofy things their babies say and do. Young children have a uniquely innocent yet truthful perspective about things that has entertained adults immensely. I remember writing a column called “I Know My Kids Will Be Great Someday” about the lively antics of my three young sons.That column led to my first news reporter job.
Once you become a parent, you can never go back to being an un-parent. Even if you give your child up for adoption, there’s something inside you that has been indelibly changed. Being a parent is scary. This other life has been entrusted into your care. When my third son was born, and because he was born less than a year after my second son, my oldest son had a solution to our problem of having two babies at once. He felt we needed to take my middle boy and give him back to the hospital people where we got him. We can return merchandise at Wal-mart and Sears. Babies, on the other hand, come non-returnable, non-refundable. Even when they grow up, the protective, providential instinct is still there, so matter how old they get.
Do you remember ever telling your parent “I hate you,” or, “I’ll be so glad when I grow up and have my own kids. I’ll never treat them anything like you treat me.” I have news for you. One of the days you will love your parents the most is the day you start parenting yourself. It is truly a life-changing event. I found a new and high respect for my mother and all mothers the day I became a mother. The little ditty: “you reap what you sow,” came to mind. All I thought about was how sneaky I had been as a child. Now I would experience what my mother experienced. Makes you want to call and tell your mother, “I’m sorry for every ugly thing I ever said or did.” She’ll probably be sporting a wicked grin and thinking, “not as sorry as you will be.”
The stretch marks come and set up homestead on your body uninvited when you have babies. My youngest son is now 21-years-old. I’m still bearing the same stretch marks he and his brothers left with me. My youngest had yet another effect on my body. He gave me legs. Before I had him, I had toothpicks substituting for legs. When he was born, so were my calves and shins.
A Love for Water
My youngest inside me introduced me to a lot of new foods, like warm sauerkraut. accompanied by nothing else. I also had an issue with gestational diabetes with him. It was during this, my last pregnancy that I developed a love for H20 as never before. To this day, water and I are friends. How that ended up being a result of the pregnancy, I have no idea. But I’m glad it happened.
Becoming a parent may be scary; Parenting is also quite wonderful. Children keeps our lives full and exciting and with very little time to think about ourselves.