GUEST BLOG POST – Are You Sure? by Dallas Louis, author, The Mommy Diaries

Have you ever looked at your child and wondered, Am I the right person for this job?  If that thought has, in any way, shape or form crossed your mind–you are not alone.  The majority of parents are incredibly intentional about their desire to become parents. There are the occasional “sneak attack” babies that fly in under the radar and catch their unsuspecting parents off-guard, but by and large–people plan to become parents.  With that said, how can we possibly doubt the fact that we are the right people for the job of raising our little ones?  Especially considering the growing number of mothers, who have waited (by choice or circumstance) to have children later in life.  With age, comes wisdom, security and confidence.  By the time you reach your mid-to late thirties, you know who you are and you are fairly settled into the woman you are, and thus are fairly certain of the mother you will become.  So, how is it that we, as strong and confident women, sometimes struggle with the job description that came with the arrival of our first child?   

Two words: Free will.

And these kiddos have it in spades!  Parenting is designed to test you in the most challenging and brutal ways imaginable.  Sleep becomes something we read about in a magazine and a hot meal is something that is only served in five-star restaurants for the extremely rich and famous.  Not only will the fog that envelops your brain during your pregnancy (you know “the fog” it makes you put an entire gallon of milk in the pantry) never leave your brain…no, no…it now takes up permanent residency there, thus disabling your ability to remember mundane details such as which day of the week today is.  If you are one of those moms that adopted your little ones, don’t think that you’ve escaped “the fog”!  In all of your pre-baby planning and preparations–your brain was checked off of a list somewhere around the time you covered the electrical outlets and installed the baby gate at the top and bottom of the stairs! 

Think back to your pre-baby outings with friends to restaurants.  Did you ever see a little one strapped into a highchair, back arched, bottle and toys thrown a considerable distance from ground zero, and think to yourself, My child will never act like that in public!  I promise you, as sure as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west: Yes, he will.  There will be sleepless nights.  Fevers.  Weird exotic baby rashes.  Food allergies.  You will question everything because reason and logic seemed to have flown right out the window.

Pause.  Take a deep breath.

 It’s totally true, parenting at any stage, from infants to intermediate school is challenging.  However, there is not one single thing…another occupation…another opportunity…another privilege that has the ability to touch your heart and strengthen your soul.  I questioned everything that my firstborn did; I still do.  I wonder (often) How can I possibly be the right parent for him?  The answer is simple: Because I am…and you are too, for your children.  Here’s where age becomes your ally.  Unlike some of your hot-headed younger counterparts, patience will eventually persevere over the tantrums.  You will begin to see that the key to winning the war is remaining calm through the battles…even though you may question some of the General’s (that’s you) tactics.

 You were paired with your child for very specific reasons.  No other mother is better suited or equipped to love your child.  That child is a part of you and holds your heart in his or her hands.  It makes absolutely no difference if you carried and delivered that baby or if you chose and adopted that precious little one.  The bond that is between the two of you is eternal and unbreakable.  Don’t get me wrong, that bond will be tested through pre-teens, hormones and high school; but through it all, you will be there to see your baby through.  Why?  Because that’s what we do.  Our hearts love our children until they break for them, and then our love just spills out onto them in an even more special way.

So, if you are wondering if you are sure that you are the right parent for this particular child…the answer is simple: Of course you are.  No one else can do what you do.  You can be sure of that.

Dallas Louis is the author of The Mommy Diaries: How I’m Surviving Parenting without Killing Anyone. An author and public speaker, Dallas lives in Houston with her husband and three young children.