By Anisa Raoof
As a parent I sometimes wish I had a custom manual for each of my kids that included all the right things to do for them — how to get them to sleep through the night, how to make them stop crying, what to say when they ask in public, “Is there a God? How do mommies pee? Why does CVS sell Easter candy if the Easter Bunny is supposed to bring it?” This manual would also tell me which is the best daycare, preschool, or grade school for my kids and what to do in case you do not get your first choice.
Of course my boys did not come with custom manuals when they were born and although I like the idea, it would take away some of what it means to be a parent (okay, and a lot of the stress!). Figuring out what is best for my child may not always be best for someone else’s and figuring out what works for my kids can lead to amazing discoveries about them and me.
Being a parent is so much trial and error. Getting advice, empathy, help, and support from fellow parents is sometimes what I need to get through the day. I remember waiting in line to pay for my groceries at Whole Foods, when one of my sons (he was about 9 months and probably teething) started sobbing. It was too late to step out of the line and I really needed the food I was buying. I was so relieved when another mom got in line behind me with her crying baby and said, “I might as well join you, then our kids can cry together!” Having the support of other moms (and dads) has made the parent journey a little easier and having playdates or drinks out with my mom friends makes it a lot more fun.
I still do not have all the answers yet, but I am thankful right now that my boys are sleeping through the night. It helps to be reminded of the good stuff.