Guest Post: On the Road to Parenting

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© Flickr User Gabriele Nastro

As I look back at my life, I am often amazed by the way things have turned out.  When I was five, I wanted to be a teacher.  When I was sixteen, I wanted to be a famous singer (or at least date a famous singer).  When I was 21, I wanted to own my own business.  But throughout all of these “career changes”, I’ve always known that I wanted to be a mommy.  Unfortunately, as a teenager I was diagnosed with Endometriosis, and the doctors were not optimistic about my chances of ever getting pregnant.

I got married fairly young – I was 20, he was 21 – and we started trying to have a baby after about a year of marriage.  Month after month went by with no progress on that front, but life went on.  I kept working, kept going to school for my Bachelor’s degree in business administration, kept changing my career plans, and kept secretly and wistfully flipping through parenting magazines when I knew nobody was looking.  We had a couple of miscarriages, and I could feel my dream of being a mommy fading away, like the Polaroid pictures I still kept of myself playing dress up as a kid.

Then the completely unexpected happened, I started feeling tired all of the time, I would vomit if I even looked at a toothbrush, and I often found myself in tears over fabric softener and antiperspirant commercials: that’s right, I was pregnant! The pregnancy was not “easy”, I had Gestational Diabetes, pre-term contractions, Preeclampsia, and ended up having an emergency C-section; but on October 13, 2005, my husband and I welcomed our baby boy, Johnathon, into the world.  Suddenly my life took on a whole new meaning.  Three straight hours of sleep became a luxury that I could only imagine and never achieve.  My business plans and homework assignments were buried under a pile of dirty laundry, diapers, and nursing pads, and I knew that I had finally become who I was meant to be: Johnathon’s Mommy.

But then the mommy-high started to wear off.  My previous life and old responsibilities started to creep up on me.  Just because I stuck my homework under the diaper box, didn’t mean that it wasn’t still coming due, and just because I loved being a mom didn’t make it any easier to pace the floor with a crying baby boy all night and all day.  Parenting decisions which used to seem easy were suddenly daunting.  Should we try co-sleeping or keep him in his crib?  Are vaccinations the right way to go or were they too risky?  Was it wrong to stick the baby in the swing so I could do homework?  Was I playing with my baby too much? Too little? Was I ruining his life before he was even old enough to realize and blame me for it?!

Five years, and two more children later, I’ve learned to relax when making parenting decisions, but the road ahead will undoubtedly be challenging. I am traveling that road armed only with a camera of my own, a few parenting tips from those who came before me, and a sense of excitement I can barely describe.  I can’t wait to find out what’s coming next!

Amanda is mommy, freelance writer, and blogger in her spare time.  Check out Giveaway Blogdom and read her most recent article on Childhood Vaccinations.

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