A few months ago, we welcomed a new member to our family. And our lives changed permanently for the better. Meanwhile, the environment around us was (and still is) changing considerably. It feels like the world is changing for the worse with the virus, fires, natural disasters, unrest, economic uncertainty, and divisive politics. It is not easy to reconcile the different moods in our internal and external worlds. It reminds of the Dickens quote: “it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” I do still hope for the best and believe that everything will be better. After all, parents tend to be naively optimistic about the future. Otherwise, they would less likely choose to become parents.
I do not have any wisdom to share about parenting. I do not think that I will ever feel competent enough about it. I have a few very personal observations:
- It is a lot of hard work mixed with a lot of deeply satisfying moments. We are spending most of our time in self-isolation, and that means we do not get much help on day to day things. That is quite a lot of work and supporting each other through that was very important for our well being.
- We, as individuals, still do exist, and our health and happiness are essential. That means trying to eat well, sleep as much as possible, and exercise whenever we can.
- Having a support network of family, friends, colleagues (even though they were all remote) helped quite a lot as we were working on our “new normal.” We are grateful to them for their love and support.
- There is a lot of advice, books, guidance, etc. out there about parenting. As expected, some of them work, some do not. It is a learning experience for the whole family. Trying different things and figuring out together with the baby is part of the fun. We are growing together.
If I can ignore my previous comment and share one bit of wisdom: We, humans, are great at adapting and thriving in new conditions. It is a positive change. And it was not as difficult as we expected. The anxiety of the unknown was more taxing than the actual changes.