This whole parenting business is no joke. It is hard. No, this isn't my usual rant about sleepless nights and teething monsters. As the end of year one looms, I find myself faced with transitions like formula weaning, pacifier removal, and somewhere in the not too distance future--potty training! I try to read what the experts say, ask my mom friends, ask my actual mom (she did a pretty good job). Sometimes the advice is helpful, sometimes it stresses me out even more and sometimes it just doesnt seem applicable to our lives.
I find myself wondering if it really matters if Austen is still waking for a 4 am bottle at a year or using a pacifier at 2 years. Sure, it is not ideal. But will she face a college board one day, where a solemn faced dean will profess her unworthy of further educational pursuits based on previous pacifier use? I try to reassure myself there are bigger fish to fry. Ya know, larger issues such as teaching her compassion, a good work ethic, and...the big one....sharing! Seeing as how most of these virtues are taught by leading through example, I am working on accepting that I may not always do perfectly at them either.
I will, however, always get an "A" for effort. I really do want what is best for Austen. I am learning that a great deal of parenting is about patience (which everyone told me) but i think it is also largely about seeing the big pictures. Things happen in stages. There are frustrations, concerns, and great joys. Then that stage ends and there are new wonderful and awful things to dwell on. Spending too much time worrying about doing the right thing now usual means being blindsided by the next thing. Which leads me to realize that somehow, the next 18 years are going to go by so fast--yet so so slowly.