I’ve had a few jobs. Some were great. More were not. One thing they all had in common? Prior to getting the job I had to pass an interview where my previous experience and skills were assessed. Hear that? They checked my QUALIFICATIONS.
Why then, has no one checked my qualifications prior to me taking on my biggest job yet? MOTHER.
So I got knocked up and popped a baby out (we all know it wasn’t quite that simple). How does this suddenly qualify me? I feel like I could benefit greatly from having several advanced degrees before assuming my new role.
The other day I was home alone with Madeline and being the fearless little beast that she is, she kept throwing herself around on our couch. She would stand up on it and bounce/dance, she would throw herself against the cushions. I kept trying to stop her, to get her to calm down a little, all to no avail. Sure enough, she flung herself at the back of the couch and hit the back of her head either on the window or the (hard) back of the couch. She barely cried, which I have heard can sometimes be more dangerous than them wailing, because they might do serious damage and just be in shock. I hugged her and comforted her and noticed that she was acting very tired a good hour before she normally goes down for the night. I kept her up for a bit and finally put her down a little early. Then I watched the monitor with an eagle eye. She didn’t move. Why isn’t she moving? I quickly hopped online and google “signs of toddler concussion.”
I didn’t know if I should leaver her alone and let her sleep or if I should run in there and pick her up. What if she had internal bleeding and I just left her there, thinking I was doing her a favor by letting her sleep. I felt I needed a medical degree to make this decision. Obviously, unqualified.
There’s so much emphasis on how every little thing we do when our children are young will have long-term effects on their psychological well-being. If I discipline her sternly instead of hugging her and telling her that it’s ok to pinch mommy’s nipple in public, am I scarring her? Will she wake up at 27 and think that mommy didn’t really love her?
How much of what I’m doing now, the decisions I’m making now, will actually surface as “issues” later in life? Unqualified.
Ok, this one really falls more on dad than mom, but have you seen kids toys? Or better yet, kids furniture.
When we were getting Madeline’s crib ready before she was born, Todd and his dad took 6 hours to put together a dresser. SIX HOURS people!
These are two smart, capable men. I wondered what was wrong with them. No engineering degree, that’s what. Unqualified.
Ok, so this is not an advanced degree, but a specialized skill from which I believe all parents could benefit.
Steering with one hand while reaching back to soothe/feed/wipe the nose of an infant/toddler is not a skill you acquire in high school. Yet suddenly, you need to know how to do just that, without getting into an accident. Unqualified.
Before we can obtain a driver’s license, we have to take two tests. Before being accepted into college, we have to pass high school, and take more tests. Before getting a job, we have to pass an interview process and prove that we are qualified.
But to bring another human being into this world? And to be trusted to take care of them, keep them healthy, raise them right so they don’t turn into psychopaths? No tests, no training.
And you can’t really count on your friends who have been parents longer than you either, because every kid is different. And because any number of unforeseen things can come up.
Like this morning, when I was sitting at work convinced that my daughter had stopped breathing in her sleep, because she went to bed all stuffed up because her canines are coming in. She slept for 13 hours last night! Most parents would be thanking their dumb luck. Me? I texted my husband and told him to go wake her up.
There’s so much room for error. How could such an important job be a learn-as-you-go type of opportunity? It’s absurd people.
Well, despite “winging it” our daughter is one and a half today. We have kept her alive for 18 months. She has stayed relatively healthy. She seems pretty happy most of the time. She says 150 words (!). She likes to wipe things, like tables and the floor. She says please and thank you. She gets excited when she sees her grandparents and super excited when she sees her great-grandma. She can push my buttons and then literally push my nose and say beep when I am in the midst of scolding her.
I guess I’d say that for learning as we go, we’re doing alright. Until t he next catastrophe strikes!