What has most surprised you about parenthood?
I approached this whole thing from a very humble I have no real idea what I’m getting myself into kind of a place. I am the type that clings stubbornly to what I had expected to happen in the face of what actually has happened, be it good or bad. It’s a character flaw, but a pretty human one. Once I’ve got an idea in my head it is VERY hard to let it go, so I try to approach the world without any idea at all. This is a super hard thing to do, but when I can manage it, it’s magical.
I’m telling you all of this to say that staying open to what is instead of what I want/think/expect has been objective #1 in my life as a parent so far. For this reason, I am both constantly surprised and never really surprised at all. At the same time. Does that make sense? Probably because of that perspective, the big surprises have been things that I didn’t know about myself. Surprises about myself as a person and parent, rather than about Yogi or even parenting Yogi. He has been quite an astute teacher and we’re only 9 months into this thing. Thinking about all that I still have to learn makes me a bit tired, but for now here are the big things.
- Without a solid 7 hours of sleep each night (8-9 is preferable) I am someone that even I don’t like. I can swing reduced hours for a few days, but I can’t make it work long term.
- Alone time is not the luxury I thought it was. It is a basic, fundamental need. I don’t know quite what it is that happens, but it’s essential.
- I still have trouble asking for what I need. I thought I had improved on this front, but life with Yogi has pointed out the fact that what I have is a supportive wife who understands me, not a willingness to ask for what I need. Different things.
- I’m not nearly as anxious as I used to be. I had expected to be nuts about things like milestones and head circumference and I’m just not. Don’t get me wrong, I certainly have my moments but on the whole I just trust myself much more deeply than I ever have before. I trust myself and my wife and Yogi. I’m confident in each one of us as individuals and I’m super confident in us as a family. I think that alot of my anxiety has been rooted in distrust of myself and the situations I have been in.