This seems like an obvious thing, right?
It’s not obvious to everyone. It wasn’t obvious to me.
I’m a competitive person. I always have been. I’m driven by the urge to be great: #1. Name in bright, glittering lights. Trophies. Medals. Leaderboards. I love being the best, and I love being recognized for it.
But parenting isn’t a competition. There’s no single right way to do things. Every kid is an individual, and parenting just requires that you adjust to your child. For awhile there, I found myself comparing myself to other parents. I wanted to be the most prepared, the most informed, the one who bought the right gear, the one who chose the right parenting style, the one who loves her baby the most.
None of it really matters; it only matters that I’m trying. It’s important to be informed, and it’s important to make the right choices for your baby, regardless of whether or not those choices are identical to the choices that other parents make. It’s important to love your baby. I’m sure most people do. I don’t have to try to determine whether or not the moms in my maternity class love their babies more or less than I do; they probably love their babies a whole lot.
And I could probably do a better job at relating to others, rather than trying to set myself apart.
Last night, after being away from my son for a few hours, I was able to pump 10 oz of milk. I was so impressed with myself! I wanted to post it on billboards. I needed to tell everyone that I’m the world’s best breast pumper! But, then I was like: Well, this is weird. What is it within me that makes me need to announce how great I am?
On the one hand, I’m happy that I am a confident person. Someone sent me this article today (I know, you’re like tl;dr… but I read the first half, and I found it really interesting). Confidence is such an indispensable part of success. I’ve read that it’s even an important part of success with breastfeeding. You’re more likely to get discouraged and quit if you believe that you can’t do it. I think that’s true with almost everything.
In one of my baby books (I’m now on Touchpoints), it said that new parents are supposed to be anxious, and then I started to worry that I wasn’t anxious enough. But then I started to think that if I was worried about my level of anxiety, then I’m probably doing okay.
I love that I’m confident, and I’m happy with who I am. (I really think I’m great.) What I’d like to focus more on, though, is being great without being the best. I don’t need to compete or compare myself with others. I can be great, and other people can be great, too. We can all be really great – even at the same things – in our own way.
And yes, I’m up blogging at 3am. This isn’t because my baby wakes or keeps me up – he’s been sleeping through the night since he was six weeks old. I just sometimes fall asleep at 7pm, apparently.
In other news, Max and I experienced DC’s famous cherry blossoms for the first time together last weekend!
I also took him to his future house.
It’s not contradictory for me to say everything that I said and then tell you guys that my kid’s gonna be your President one day, right? I mean, your kids can be presidents, too; Max can only do eight years (if he decides to run for re-election).