if at first you don’t succeed

by humanmama on February 23, 2011


All my life I might have been funny, and a bit of a showoff, but everyone who knows even the littlest bit about psychology would figure after knowing me for 5 minutes that I am terribly self-conscious, a trait found in comedians and psychologists, and am only trying to throw the focus off of myself. So it comes as a great surprise sometimes when my children are acting up, horribly, and everyone is looking at me for an answer.

After working with Autistic children for years, throwing themselves on the floor at McDonalds, pinching me black and blue, you’d think that my “mind your own business” nerve was attuned for people who are giving me the stink-eye. But no, I, just like all people, am self-conscious. And I, like all parents, am just guessing.

When other moms, especially new moms, come to me with advice about this thing or that, sleeping schedules, to pacifier or not to pacifier, circumsicion (Believe it or not, even with two girls), I give them one bit of advice first. “Do not think you have to take anyone’s advice. I’m so sorry to tell you, but we’re all only guessing.” If you’re a first time parent it might even come to a shock as you look back upon your own life and realize, oh no, that means our parents were only guessing too! And it’s true. No one actually knows when to go in and placate the baby when he’s screaming, or what’s the “right” age to get rid of the nuk, or what signals it’s now time to potty train. We’re all just guessing, bit by bit, hoping to get it right but often times failing.

The best advice I can give about parenting is this: “Try, try again.” If at first you don’t suceed, don’t let it get you down! We’re all just guessing! It’s only natural that we’ll get a few wrong. SO just pick up, dust off, and try again.

Either that or the line from my favorite book, Pinkalicious: “You get what you get and you don’t get upset.” That’s one I could use for children and adults. About so many things.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristin Alkire February 23, 2011 at 11:43 pm

Amen! I find myself freaking out at times second guessing everything I do related to Zoe…and then I remember that she's still healthy and happy and seems to be doing just fine. All of the "advice" out there sometimes does more harm than good. I am going to use "just guessing" as my mantra when I get stressed. :)

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aj April 3, 2011 at 3:16 pm

Yes, “we’re all only guessing.” Kind of makes you feel better. KIND of.
Hope you’re all okay, your little redheaded brood!

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