Saturday, April 6, 2013

Post D-Day Nerves

I'm one of those people who likes to read a couple of books about a topic or think about something for a little while and then instantlydoit. And not only do it, but do it well. I like immediate and amazing results. I like to be prepared. I like for everything to be wrapped up in a bow and left alone. And if it doesn't go well or I have to do it again I get upset. I beat myself up with a good verbal lashing and then never do it again or mutter a bunch and do it again but then verbally lash myself all over again in the process. I don't like change. I mean I REALLY don't like change.

Anyway- what keeps me up at night now that we are very very close to D-Day is that I will do everything wrong. And for someone who likes to do things right this is scary.

Not that this isn't a common fear. But I'm terrified of not getting it right, right out of the gate. I'm nervous and a bit frustrated with the tweaks, the adjustments, the changes that I'm sure I'm going to have to figure out along the way. I have read a bizillion blog posts about what essential items I'll need to have to get ready for baby's arrival. I've got 'em but I KNOW that some of these "essential" items will be wastes of precious money or my baby won't like them or I'll have to find a different brand my baby will like. I've read the essential book on soothing a baby with colic (because I've babysat a baby with colic and I want to be prepared). I've read the essential book on getting a child to sleep (which seems mesmerizing and mysterious). If I felt good enough I would probably be taking detailed notes  in notebooks I labeled SLEEP and SOOTHING (because I'm that kind of person).

But I know from my many years of taking care of lots of small babies and children that no child is the same and I'm going to have to figure my child out just like I had to figure out all those other children that didn't belong to me. And in the back of my head I know it will all work out. I loved all the kids I took care of and we figured out what made each other tick and how to best get along for mutual happiness and maximum results. Barring a missed nap or two most days were pretty fun.

I've kind of done this before. Raising my dog from a tiny puppy was a maze of changes that scared 24 year old me. I read lots of books, tried lots of methods, bought lots of unnecessary doo dads that promised to do amazing things, threw out all the books and the unnecessary doo dads that did not do the amazing things and in the end went with my gut. In the beginning it was frustrating a lot of the time (especially at 12am, 3am, and 4:30 am when I hadn't yet figured out that my adorable puppy didn't actually have to go to the bathroom outside in our terrifying neighborhood - he just wanted to play). It was frustrating until I finally realized that my zealous attempt at using only "positive correction" was never going to work on my stubborn animal. I was freaked out and convinced I was doing a terrible job. But now 9 years later I have such a wonderful canine companion whose only defaults are a propensity to anxiety (yes, you can blame the mom on that one) and a slight problem with toy possessiveness (only child issues- we are working on it). Today he is sweet, funny, and brings me almost constant joy.

So I guess one of my major goals for 2013 is realizing (and coming to some kind of peace with) the fact that there is no finish line. Everything is constantly changing. Nothing will ever be totally complete or perfect. It drives me crazy because I want the A and the gold stars and I want them now. But life really is evolving every day and so am I and so is everyone around me and so will my baby. And that's o.k.

Now someone record that, press play on a continual loop and hand me a mirror. It's Stuart Smalley time.

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