What did I find so hard?
This is something I find myself thinking about when life with three small boys feels busy and hectic. What did I actually do with just one baby? What did I find so hard about having one baby? I really don’t know, but to this day I absolutely feel it was the most difficult part of my parenting adventure. Sadly, I know it won’t stay that way forever.
I’ve come to the conclusion that it wasn’t hard. I just felt it was hard. I felt like I didn’t know what I was doing, and I like to know what I am doing and what to expect. I didn’t feel lost, low, or depressed – just insecure in my new role. Overwhelmed, naive and I took everything personally. Surely a baby would sense my effort, and unconditional love? Surely he would know I was trying my best? Surely he know I only wanted the best for him? Of course not – but it took me a long time to realise it, and now it is so obvious.
When Jared and I were new parents I remember us discussing regularly: “Why did nobody tell us about…” and “Why did nobody mention…”, but we swiftly realised that no one can tell you how to parent – you have to find your own groove (amongst all the books and advice), which I know sounds so cliché. Parenting comes with so many responsibilities – sometimes they can feel glaring and unkind, and at other times they feel motivating, exciting and overwhelmingly full.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but it can also be a pest. Sometimes I wish I could go back to the ‘new mum Esther’ and whisper a few things in her ear, but then I remember that experience is the best teacher.