I love children. Before I moved to northern New York and became a doula, I taught middle and high school students in Vermont. I babysat when I was young and always knew I'd become a mom some day. There was no question about it -- I had spent a lot of time working with young people and wanted one of my own. I knew this from the very beginning.
I was so confident in my parenting abilities that I (a serious reader and researcher) read absolutely nothing about infant care. I read a book about breastfeeding, but that was the only way I prepared myself for the arrival of my new baby. I figured it would all come naturally. I knew how to relate to kids; how hard could a baby really be?
Well, as I wrote in my previous blog post, I was greatly surprised. Getting to know a new person who is also figuring out how to just LIVE is a pretty overwhelming experience. Add severe sleep deprivation into the mix and you have a recipe for a lot of uncertainty and self-doubt. While there were many good days, the hard moments stand out very strongly in my mind.
But even in the most difficult phases of learning how to be a parent, when each new day started, I felt a sense of relief. We had survived another night. Instead of stressing over getting the baby to sleep, we could just go for a stroller walk to get a croissant. Or lie on the couch and watch a How I Met Your Mother marathon on Netflix. It didn't really matter what we did, but the rising sun made me feel like it would all be okay.
When I decided to become a doula, I wanted to take that sense of confidence that each new day brought me and give that to other parents. It is so hard to know what "good parenting" looks like these days with the overflow of advice and opinions that the Internet brings. But if we take each day at a time, it is much easier. Each new day brings the possibility of a new milestone for your baby and a great cup of coffee for you. We just need to have faith that all things will pass and that life really is about the journey.
New Day Doula
Rainbow and Mary share thoughts on pregnancy, birth, and the parenting journey.