So, I had set up those previous posts days ahead of time and it never occurred to me that Mother’s Day was just around the bend. Time just seems to be flying by! Is it really May?! Yesterday we hit 32 weeks so there are approximately two more months separating Beatle and the world. You know that infamous scene in Alien where you can see the alien wriggling around under Sigourney Weaver’s skin? Yeah, that’s pretty much what my stomach has been looking like lately. It is exciting and unnerving all at once. (Sidenote: did anyone else know that Sigourney is not her real name? I just learned that when I Googled to make sure I spelled it right. Huh. Learn something new every day.)
This was my last Mother’s Day before I become an actual mommy. The weight of that responsibility has been weighing on me lately. I’ve been devouring every piece of parenting advice that I can find because I’m hoping that I’ll internalize the patience and strength they espouse and it will just come naturally. Last night, I was talking to Mister about the articles I’ve read and about how I want our daughter to be a strong young woman who is secure in herself. While she’ll always be our baby, eventually she’s going to be out in the world having a real impact on the lives of others and I want to prepare her with the skills necessary to make that impact positive.
The exhausting part is that there is no 100% guaranteed method to raising a healthy, wealthy, and wise child. Parenting is a lot like dieting: there are about one million different ways to get relatively the same outcome and everyone will tell you that their method is the best and absolutely reliable. My instinct says that the most effective methods are ones that teach the child to value and respect themselves and others and so those are the tips and tricks I’ve been trying to absorb.
I really like the DERA (Describe, Empathize, state the Rule, and discuss Alternatives) method (described in this article on Everyday Feminism) because it harkens back to a lot of the tools I was taught when I worked on mental health crisis lines. I like that it recognizes the kiddo’s emotions but still insists on adherence to a rule structure. I’m sure I’ll have a whole new set of feelings about it when I have an unruly 2 year old in front of me, but for now I’m just hoping to create within me a naturally patient response. This probably will not be my last post about parents tips and tricks so if you have any suggestions leave them in the comments!