Throughout my life, I have always had a fear of the unknown. I don’t like change; I’m afraid to take the next step until I’m sure I’m absolutely ready. I wasn’t sure about having kids. Honestly, I’m not a fan of kids in general (that’s why I’m a pediatric speech-language pathologist, haha!). It turns out, I’m not a fan of groups of kids. A few kids are fine, but big groups of kids are too much for me.
My fear of children made me fearful of becoming a parent. I didn’t think I’d be any good at it. And I had no interest in beginning something I wouldn’t be any good at. There are days I still feel this way, like when my twins are freaking out that the banana broke in half or I wouldn’t hold their hands walking all around the house. I feel like I’m failing, but I also know parenting is just hard.
So I thought, if I couldn’t keep myself together when I had little kids, how could I handle all the other things that come with growing up?
I was dreading the days I’d have older kids. I like babies. I’m comfortable with babies. Babies are simple. They don’t ask questions I don’t know the answers to. They don’t need discipline.
Even with the sleep deprivation, many years (and tears!) of breastfeeding and pumping, the endless nights of crying, and the inability to communicate with them, babies still seemed more manageable to me.
And generally, I still think that’s true. But I’m starting to like my almost 10-year-old. He’s insightful, he’s cautious, he’s caring, he’s helpful. He’s an all-around good kid.
We struggled a lot in the beginning. I had post-partum depression, and I was not really sure I wanted to be a parent, and he was screaming all day and night.
All I wanted when he was a baby was to be able to enjoy my time with him. I still feel bad that I never got to. But some of that might fade away as he grows up, and I can view him as the wonderful human being he is becoming.
But as I sat with him on the couch this evening watching a musical, I felt like I could finally relate to him. Maybe even understand him a little. When the movie was finished, he said, “I forgot how good the music was in this.” My heart swelled because music was always something I hoped he would enjoy. We share a bond now that we never had when he was little.