I should start off by saying I don’t know how to juggle items. I can barely catch one ball, let alone coordinate three. The further into this pregnancy we get the more concerned I am becoming about the juggling that will come with having three children. Not in the sense that I won’t be able to catch one and they will land on their head, though that is always a concern anyway, but that I won’t be able to remember who has eaten breakfast or not, who needs a new diaper, who has gymnastics, or who needs to be picked up from preschool. Not to mention all the other responsibilities that come with adulthood: work, bills, grocery-shopping, doctor appointments, and making sure to get your Redbox movie back in time.
There is so much pressure on parents (especially moms) to be the perfect parent. Social media, Pinterest, parenting magazines, and headlines that read “Are you Mom Enough?”. Isn’t that what we are wondering everyday anyway? Why do we have to see it in black and white all over the newsstand?
You have moms on Facebook bragging about how their 4-day old baby slept through the night last night, never cries, can already say “Mama”, and poops rainbow-colored turds that smell like daffodils. Then you have to see Tweets like, “Just made an entire homemade meal from scratch with the vegetables from our garden and Ketchup made from our heirloom tomatoes!”. Of course, all these post come with a picture verifying that your friend isn’t entirely full of shit.
If you’re really feeling like getting your self-loathing on, just log into the ever-addictive Pinterest. On one web-page you will see rippling abdomens (which have surely never carried a child) with the subtext “Get flat abs just by mopping your floors”, followed by a picture of imported Italian hardwoods that nowhere resemble your own $0.92/sq. foot wood laminate, cupcakes that only take three hours to prep (two hours to decorate), and a systematic way to organize your spice rack.
With other parents/adults everywhere pressuring/guilting us into needing to do more, be better, and have the perfect life, I think we can solve the feeling of inadequacy by looking at the precious little beings that made us parents in the first place. All they want from us (besides a clean diaper and nutrition) is to feel love. When you give that love, you will feel theirs in return and what more could anyone hope for than to be loved by their child?
So, while it is easy to get caught up in seemingly overwhelming magnitude of it all, remember to throw out the junk not really worth the weight of trying to catch and throw back into the air. It’s easier to juggle three things rather than twenty. Take things one day at a time, breathe, and have your child’s happiness and well-being at the core of all you do. Just remember, if a clown can juggle, so can you. I’m not just talking about the characters with Bozo hair and squeaky noses either…