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Friday, November 12, 2010

Its a funny thing, really

There is a point of utter exhaustion and desperation in every newborn's household when even the most loving, devoted mother cries (figuratively, or more often, literally) and says, "What was I thinking?" Because caring for a baby is full of impossibilities. Its impossible to get enough sleep, to satisfy the demands of parenting, to take care of a child and oneself, and especially to do any of these things without guilt and feelings of insecurity. Sometime in my ninth month of pregnancy, that impossibility made itself known: "Oh wait, I can't do this! I take it back... I don't want to have a baby!" And after he was born (and his sister before him), I thought it again. And again.

There, I said it. But you've thought it, too, if you're a parent. You didn't mean it, and neither did I, but there's a moment of fear (or maybe two, or ten) when you weigh your own capabilities and the task ahead of you and realize how lacking you really are. Its impossible to be all that society says you must be for your child. Its impossible to do it all without making mistakes and fostering regrets.

Then, of course, your baby does what babies do. He sleeps peacefully that first time, or smiles, or coos or laughs. And of course you don't care that you didn't want a baby or didn't think you could handle one... he's here, he's perfect, and he's yours.

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