Recently on a mommy board I participate in, someone posed the question if they were the only one who doesn't know everything. They cited the many other first time parents they knew that seemed to know it all and have it all together; specifically calling out the ones that seem to have read every book and retained every bit of knowledge and stare at you in shock that you don't know the information they know and thus have not reacted the way they have.
I thought about her question and knew that I was most certainly not one of those parents. I unabashedly, almost to a fault, admit to everyone who will listen to me that I know nothing and am completely flying by the seat my pants. But when the tables are turned and I look inward to myself, I'm a bitch. I have read a bazillion baby books, I know a thousand and one methods to do whatever you need to do with a kid. I know the risks associated with so many of the choices that I struggle with every day in raising Little G. And I am a total bitch to myself whenever I make even the slightest mistake or remember that I don't know what I am doing.
What a fantastically craptastic double standard I hold myself to!! I am killing myself over here with intolerance of any mistake no matter how minor it is. I have to stop punishing myself.
One of the responders to that original post wrote something that really resonated with me. She said,
I liken the whole experience to getting your dream job-you know the one that you applied for on a whim because you never thought you'd really get it because honestly you are not qualified?!? Now that you landed it you actually have to show up and work, with little to no supervision or training!This is the first description of parenthood I've come across that I think truly defines the overwhelming sense of being lost in a land where everyone else knows what's going on and you are expected to as well. But who's expectation is it? Not my husband's. Not Little G's. I'm the boss here; I'm the only one who's going to give me feedback for a while, and I need to start being nicer or I'm going to lose the best employee I have. Me.