One of my friends at work became a mother at the age of sixteen. I was talking with her yesterday about her experiences as a teenage mom, and the way she described her first day home with her sweet little girl hits home with so many parents. She said that as she sat down at home for the first time with this new little life, she started to cry and think, “Now what am I supposed to do?”
I think my friend was a little surprised that I admitted to having these same emotions. That I, too, had those thoughts of “who in the world thought it was a good idea to send a helpless baby home with me?”
And then, as they grow, you start wondering if your parenting is completely screwing them up for life.
I can’t be the only one with these feelings.
For instance, during Mary Grace’s afternoon nap, 9 times out of 10, she winds up snuggling with me on the couch. I know this isn’t a good habit to get into, but I just can’t shake the thought that she is only this little for a short time, and goshdarnit, I will snuggle with her while I can.
And don’t get me started on having her “cry it out”. I can’t do it. No way no how. I’m weak.
And then there’s Carson. Trying to parent a two year old has proved to be quite the ride.
Am I bribing him too much? Disciplining him too little?
And what about the weekly partially hydrogenated PopTarts he eats in the car on the way to church on Sundays along with the prepackaged peanut butter crackers he eats on the way home? Am I contributing to a lifetime of poor nutrition?
Will he be sucking on his “blue paci” as he takes his drivers test??
I don’t care if you’re a teenage mother or if you have a PhD in child development. I think at some point, all parents wonder if they’re doing a good job. There really is no “how to raise a productive citizen of the world” guidebook. When all is said and done, all I can do is the best I know how to do while trusting that God- the perfect Father- will fulfill His will in their lives with or without me.