I had my first baby at 19, now I am a 35 year-old woman with three kids. During this time I saw many people catch pregnant, and they came to me for advice, poor misguided things.
The truth is, if there’s one thing I’ve learned after parenting these three kids it’s that I don’t know anything at all.
There is an 11 year difference between my first 2 kids and I can tell you that all the things I learned, I either forgot or they changed. There’s something they don’t tell you in the parenting books.
That all the recommendations, guidelines, and even the very shit you’re reading in the book right this very minute will all change. There is no “learning”. There is no muscle memory. All there is is the things they tell you to do, and those things can change at a moment’s notice. User, beware!
I have three kids and I can tell you with certainty that this means I am positive that I don’t know what I’m doing.
You see, it’s not like making a lasagna. You can make a lasagna three times while following a recipe in similar conditions, and still end up with a predictable result. You can make a reasonable inference on how that lasagna will turn out when all’s said and done.
Parenting is different because it’s like the lasagna wants to break your spirit. And each time you make the lasagna, you never know what you’re going to get.
Will your lasagna grow up to be a responsible human being with a decent job or will it be the kind of lasagna that wears a fedora and creeps up on pedestrians while doing a left hand turn?
You would think that with every successive child your knowledge would improve, or that collectively with experience you would get better at it but that’s just simply not true.
Almost the opposite, in fact. I remember with my second and third pregnancies taking a deep breath and looking in the mirror saying “you got this”. Oh sweet, naive, thing.
I didn’t. You see, it’s almost like the gambler’s fallacy. You think the more you play, the more likely you are to have a win, but that’s just not the case. Each time your odds reset from scratch.
Look around! You have no idea what you’re doing. Namaste.
So if you catch yourself wondering why this baby is so different than the last, or looking at your brood thinking “I have no idea what I’m doing here”, just know you’re not alone. None of us do. Ask for advice at your own risk.