Parenting without an agenda

It was only about two weeks into my life as a mother when I realized, “I’m so screwed.” I had no idea what I was doing. I was parenting without a plan or agenda.

I never hoped to make the world better by having a child. I didn’t even try to make my own life better by having a baby. He was on a mission to be the universal force in my world which would eventually teach me organization, efficiency and time management. Learning those life skills wasn’t the agenda I had when I became a parent.

My son was a force to be reckoned with.  That’s the nice way of saying he was a high-needs, colicky, screaming nightmare of a little person who rocked my entire world.

I had never known unconditional love in a tangible form before I birthed my son. I had never known the anguish of watching a child scream in pain and being unable to soothe him. I learned from him that sometimes just showing up and being there is more important than actually doing things “right”. My arms willing to rock him as he screamed was enough.

I had my baby without an agenda. I wasn’t going to raise him by parenting according to a rule book of attachment parenting or rear my child in the ways of sleep training and controlled feedings. I had no idea before I met him if I would nurse him. Little did I know that nursing him would be the one bond that healed the screaming and kept us as a pair for longer than I had imagined.

The universe gave a child to a woman who loved Sesame Street well into adulthood, who ate toddler food well into her 20s and a woman who probably agreed to have a child mostly because 12 weeks off of work sounded awesome. The reality was I had no agenda. I was a parent because I longed to meet a little person who was half of my husband’s politically correct genes and half of my “C” student by choice and sailor mouthed genes.

He arrived perfect. He arrived perfectly flawed. He arrived screaming and unable to be soothed. We both showed up without any agenda other than figuring out the world together.

Motherhood just finds some women. One friend said, “it hits some women like a brick wall.” Well, brick wall or not, parenting is something you don’t go over, you can’t go under – you just go straight through. The wall doesn’t get any lower regardless of the books you have read or the credentials you have earned.

I found that showing up without expectations wasn’t a bad thing. My world and my beliefs were continuously changed by this little soul who found me. All the ideas about the future were rearranged. My wants and dreams were morphed into my family’s wants and dreams. I became a mother.

My own dreams and hopes were still my own, but they danced behind my dreams and hopes  for my child. A deep and strong love is born when you have a child. Your love becomes fierce and your mind becomes focused. Even through tired eyes and an exhausted heart, I stared at nursling and dreamed of his life ahead. His agenda became my world. I showed up without an agenda or expectations. Parenting is cool that way….you show up and they teach you to love.