There is no test or certification that proves that you’re ready to take on the responsibility of raising a child. Carrying a flour sack around your high school hallways doesn’t really show you what it’s like to care for your son every single day.
You have to hope that you had good examples. Or even bad examples. And enough sense to figure out the good from the bad. Or the right from the wrong. Even though there is no actual right or wrong.
My husband, Travis, and I are still pretty early in the process but as far as I can tell we haven’t messed up too badly yet. I mean, I’d know… right?
Our boy, Jack is almost 14 months old and I haven’t taken him to a tanning salon or forgot about him at the grocery store. Travis hasn’t attached the laundry basket to the tractor to pull him across the lawn. Actually, that one sounds kind of fun. Wait, did I just fail a parenting test?
We have mixed examples of how to do this parenting thing. Looking at our own parents and our peers, it seems easy to pick and choose what we think works to grow a contributing member of society. That’s our goal right – to grow children who are actually GOOD people?
Here’s the thing though, there is no recipe that you can follow that will result in the “perfect” person every single time. So you know what we do?
Which sounds quite odd for me, considering that I’ve been a Type A overachiever throughout my entire life. Something crazy happened when I got pregnant though, I just went with it. I didn’t worry about the whole labor thing (even though I’m a wimp when it comes to pain) because I reasoned that he was going to come out one way or another no matter what I had to say about it. When Jack screamed his way into the world 2 months early, I wasn’t ready for him. But who can truly be ready for anything when it comes to a child?
So we wing it.
We continue living our life as we lived it before. We love. We laugh A LOT. We truly appreciate the gift that we were given when our healthy little boy joined our lives.
Yes, our goal is to raise a good person. I mean, nobody goes into this wanting to raise a whiny, entitled little brat. Sometimes we stumble through parenting, catching our feet on every bump in the road. Other times, the direction seems so clear and everything falls into place.
Like every parent we want our son to be happy and successful. To one day be an amazing adult and an amazing dad to his own children.
So, we wing it. And hope for the best.
Julie Dellinger (aka Joules from Pocketful of Joules) has been blogging since 2011 on everything from losing a job, finding a new one, selling a house, buying a house, moving twice, getting pregnant and popping out a baby 2 months early. She’s a full time working mother, a blogger, a DIYer, a writer and a gourmet marshmallow eater.