In listening to the other fourteen parenting experts on the Parenting Summit during the past three weeks, what struck me was the powerful advice given by the experts who are mothers themselves. All of them described the impact of the birth of that first child.
The surprising feeling of helplessness, loneliness, crushing responsibility, complete entrapment and the guilt for feeling those feelings just added to the hopelessness, because we tried to hide the fear.
Every mother who shared on the program wanted children and loved the baby but somehow the complexity and power of the conflicting feelings came as a shock. The birth of the baby changed our lives forever.
Women handle this huge change in different ways. The women in the Summit were women open to learning. Most of them had jobs teaching, counseling, writing or in some way significantly connected to parenting or with children. Some of the experts shared clinical information. I am sure that was helpful to some listeners. Some were young and some were old like me.
More and more the clinical information makes me smile because reading books like most of us did before becoming parents didn’t prevent the panic. Help! How do I do this and what if I make a mistake! An awesome responsibility.