Parenting comes naturally


A few weeks ago I had a patient bemoan the fact that she felt that parenting wasn’t coming naturally to her (like everyone said that it would)
A few days ago as I stood in a crowded WalMart checkout line (Aside: If Dante’s Inferno was written today the 4th circle of Hell would be a WalMart checkout line) with a raging toddler in my arms and a pair of size 8 toddler shoes and a Twix bar on the belt I knew exactly how she felt.
The parenting thing is not coming naturally.
If it was I would have known what to do to calm my child down while the entire store stared. I didn’t.
I knew exactly what everyone else was thinking. They thought she was pitching a fit because of the candy. Truth is…candy bar was mine. Jude would maybe take a few bites, but could really not care less about it.
It was the shoes.
Jude has actually had nightmares about her shoes being “all gone.” We have had to check on her shoes in the middle of the night to make sure they are OK. This was after months of work to get her not to wear them 24/7. And here we were. After suddenly springing up a shoe size and going to the store and picking out new shoes (for probably only the second time in her entire life) here I was GIVING THEM BACK TO THE CASHIER.
Yes the epic flip out was totally warranted. I see that. I even kinda knew it would happen but I am lost on the natural parent thing as I don’t know what to do. She needed the shoes…

There are other things that were allegedly supposed to come naturally that have failed to arrive…
I am supposed to have this superhuman ability to remove any and all laundry stains now.
I am supposed to be able to function properly on less than 4 hours sleep a night.
Everything I cook is supposed to be edible at the very minimum, but typically on the good-very tasty scale.
I think there is this cultural expectation that I need to compete with other Moms. The Moms will be like my 3 year old is starting violin lessons and I am like: very nice, mine is learning to get both eyes to look in the same direction. (I feel both are pretty challenging, however obviously this is a personal opinion).

But if I could rewind a few weeks ago I wish I could tell that new Mom that the “it will come naturally” line is likely utter B.S. I don’t think any of us actually have it figured out at all. We just make it through the day and mostly there are no serious head injuries (for the kids or us)

And somedays I think that all the parenting books are just other people who think that THEY have it all figured out too. Until they go to WalMart.


4 responses »

  1. It is coming naturally you just don’t see it. You are buying her new shoes, that is something a mom knows her daughter needs. (Remember your foster kids, I know I had a few whose parents didn’t understand the concept of shoes) I don’t think we ever know what to do when the kid is having an emotional meltdown in the store. I routinely stop moms and say “I’ve been there, keep up the good work”. Since I only “know” you through your blog, I can’t tell you in person but “I’ve been there, keep up the good work”.

  2. MY daughter has been with me 10 years and still is obsessed with shoes and boots as well. They stuff feet into any size shoe in ophanages so it must be a big thing to have your own.

  3. You might also want to try online ordering, having stuff delivered to you at work or at your parents’ house. Of course, getting the size right could be a little tricky until you get the hang of it.

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