I’ve come to the end of my pregnancy by now and with it, the end of my time writing for Being Pregnant. This has been a wonderful experience and I hope you’ve enjoyed my posts here as much as I’ve enjoyed creating them. I’ll be taking a short break to spend focused time with my new baby before coming back to contribute to Baby’s First Year in August. I hope to see some of you over there when your babies are born!
Before I leave this space, I wanted to take a moment to reassure all of you moms-to-be, especially the first-timers, that you are going to do great with the new baby. You really are. Sure, there will be all kinds of different challenges and the road may not lead in directions you expect, but you’ll rise to any occasion and be the best mom you can be.
While we’re pregnant, we have a lot of time to think about the minutia of gestating, birthing, and caring for a baby. The plethora of choices before us seems overwhelming and each one starts to feel monumental. What car seat is best? What paint colors will make the nursery the most soothing? What details need to go into my birth plan? What if I can’t breastfeed? What if I don’t even want to try? Should we room-share with the baby? Who will care for the baby when I go back to work? Who will care for me while I care for the baby? So many questions, so many choices, so many ways to doubt your every move.
Don’t doubt your every move.
The choices you make today or tomorrow are only a small part of the incredible journey of raising a child. While they aren’t insignificant, especially now when we scramble for some sense of control in an uncontrollable situation, they are also not going to portend the end of the world. The choices you make, as long as you are making them from a place of love for your child, will be the right choices. If you are acting in the best interest of your baby, you will be just fine.
You see, what I’m learning as I’m watching my older child grow up is that the person he’s becoming is not just a product of the material decisions we’ve made about his care and feeding. Rather, he’s revealing a big heart and a vital spirit that is nurtured by encouragement, love, and acceptance. That heart and that spirit are part of who he is and my most important job as his mother is to recognize and encourage the best parts of him. And in so doing, I have to find and reveal the best parts of me so I can lead him by example.
My goal for my children has to be about them, about leading them down a path to being people I will be honored to know for their whole lives. I must remember to keep that in mind each day and not allow myself to get mired in the small details of daily living. Those details are fleeting and changeable and ultimately of limited importance. But the act of giving a child love, acceptance, encouragement, and the skills to walk through the world being the best person he or she can be? That is the real work of a parent. And the joy of being a parent as well.
Good luck to all of you as you welcome these wonderful new people into you families. May you bring each other great joy for all of your lives.
Photo credit: photo stock
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