An acquaintance of mine recently had a baby. She was one of those pregnant ladies. You know them. She read the books. She did her research. She studied for parenthood like it’s the friggin’ SATs. In doing so, she committed what, in my opinion, is one of the cardinal mistakes a parent-to-be can make: She convinced herself she was ready.
Then she had the baby. Shock of all shocks: She wasn’t ready. She was prepared. But she wasn’t ready.
What’s the difference? Being prepared is learning the ins and outs of pregnancy. Setting up your baby’s room. Taking an infant CPR class. Asking your friends and family about their parenting experiences. Reading the books and doing your research. Coming into parenthood, everybody should be prepared to a certain extent. There’s only so much you can do, in my book. But to come in willfully ignorant would be foolish to say the least.
But being prepared isn’t being ready. Because guess what? You can’t be ready. Here’s why…
Awhile back I was driving with my three-year-old and my one-year-old in the backseat. They were each snug in their car seats, and I was up front minding my business. Nothing too out of the ordinary.
Then a little plastic shoe struck me in the side of the head.
While I was naturally bewildered, it didn’t take a forensic scientist to figure out where it came from. One look back and I saw my three-year-old sporting one shoe and smiling at me in that “cat that ate the canary” sort of way.
I don’t care who you are, how many books you read, how many classes you take, or who your parent friends are…you’re never ready to take a shoe to the head. It just happens.
You want to come as close as you can get to being “ready” for parenthood? Do what I did before I got in that car: Fasten your seat belt. Prepare to be unprepared. Embrace the chaos that’s coming. Because it is coming. And guess what? A lot of it is pretty cool.
Also, watch out for flying crocs.
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