The Parent I Want to Be.
Have you ever felt so empowered by the positivity passed on from someone else that you could cry? Okay, maybe this is coming from a place filled with pregnancy hormones... but really, have you ever felt like that, pregnancy or no pregnancy? You guessed it, I totally feel like that right now. Every week I go to prenatal and parenting classes at a local place called "Pregnancy Resources." They offer pregnant women a chance to learn more about what they embarking on as well as giving free diapers for the classes you attend with chances to earn things like a free crib, car seat, as well as free maternity and baby clothes. At the class today we discussed ways to be an affirming, attentive, and connected parent as mapped out in the Parrott's book "The Parent You Want to Be" and it filled me full of great ideas. And for the first time in a LONG time, I am starting to feel at peace with becoming a parent; knowledge really is power. I'm starting to feel like I am one of those people who really was made for this, not just something I am accidentally stumbling into because I am biologically able to have children. Instead, I am feeling capable of loving a little person and making them feel like they belong to someone in this world. Ahh, I love it.
So, more about feeling empowered....
Tonight in class the instructor asked everyone some of their fears in parenting, specifically, what are you afraid will influence your child in a negative way? People said things like the media, peers, etc. and for one reason or another illness popped into my head. Like many first time parents, I am terrified at the possibilities of mental and physical ailments burdening my baby, especially illnesses that run in the family (mood disorders, diabetes, etc). Not to mention, I am also afraid of the possibility of other mental and physical illnesses that would deeply change our lives. I'm thankful our instructor addressed each and every fear addressed because her observation is the reason I feel so at peace tonight. She suggested that instead of asking God for a perfect, healthy child, we should instead be asking for the capability to love our child, no matter what may come. And in that instant, the part of my brain filled with those worries released them and turned into a place of understanding and love. In addition, my prayers are going to change drastically as well. Like I said, this has already brought me so much peace. I realized that asking God for what I want to be done is really doing me injustice... I've been asking God for a healthy child to love -- as if I couldn't or wouldn't be able to love one who isn't. (Of course, that is not what I feel inside or what I was asking for, but essentially that is where my fears obviously lie.)
And afterall, isn't that what we promise to do for our spouses when we say our vows when we dedicate that we will love them no matter what may come...
"I take you for my lawful wife/husband, to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and health, until death do us part."Why should that be any shock or any different for someone else we are bringing into this world? It shouldn't be and really, it isn't shocking -- it just surprises me that I was looking at these things from a different angle than what I am seeing now. It is a great feeling.
Anyways, if you think you'd be even the least bit interested, you should give that book I linked above a look or two. It is full of practical ways to be an affirming, attentive, connected, patient, authentic, insightful parent everyday and is written by a pair of married doctors with two little boys of their own. It doesn't just follow their philosophies, but the philosophies of many parents they talked to and surveyed. I will definitely be ordering myself a copy after tonight's wonderful class!
God, I ask you to give us the ability to be loving parents to whomever we are greeted with in February. This child has already been such a blessing to each of us personally, to our marriage and our extended families as well. I ask that You continue to soothe my worries with the peace You've given me today; there is a definite amount of peace in switching from my will filled with selfish ways to Your will that is full of selflessness and humility. I pray I never forget that I am called to be Your servant in every way.
Thank you for today.
Thank you for today.
"But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul."