“…once our eyes are opened, we can't pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act.”
~Proverbs 24:12



Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Are You Ready?

The question of the hour has turned from "Have you heard anything yet?" to "So, are you ready?" To which I ask... Is anyone ever completely ready for parenthood?

I'm a planner by nature. A worrier too. It can be a toxic combination. Part of me keeps thinking about the books on motherhood and parenting a toddler I haven't finished reading...not to mention the stack of books on attachment, over-stimulation and parenting an internationally-adopted child. While their room is set up for the most part, it's not completely finished. There's still much to put away. I have yet to know how to properly install their car seats. We have no shoes for our little ones. I could go on and on.

But deep down...when I really let myself think about it... God's got it all in control. He had our path to parenthood in control when we felt helpless and lost. He had the financial aspect of adoption in control when it looked like the monetary mountain was insurmountable. He had the timeline in control when we worried we would be apart from our children on Christmas. He's got it all in his powerful, capable hands.

So parents... if you had one piece of advice or one thing to tell me that would help prepare me for parenthood, what would it be? Am I crazy for having fleeting moments during which I feel completely unprepared?

8 comments:

K said...

If it makes you feel any better, I STILL feel unprepared to be a parent. I'm going through a lot of the same anxieties you are right now, even though I've done this before. "Will I be able to handle TWO kids?" "How will I handle one of each?" "Will I be able to treat both kids equally?" and so on...

I don't think that feeling ever really goes away! Once you mount a hurdle, they grow and adapt and throw new obstacles in your path.

The best advice I can give:
-Kids thrive on routine. As soon as you can establish a schedule, stick to it as closely as you can. It gives them a feeling of security in an uneasy world to know what comes next in their day. This goes for all kids, but I would imagine it applies double for kids who have just moved halfway across the world.

- Don't be a complete martyr. It's so easy to give yourself completely to their every whim and need because you love them completely, and you want them to never suffer a moment's unhappiness. But if you neglect yourself you are doing everyone an injustice. Even if it's just locking yourself in the bathroom with a good book for 10 minutes a day.

- When in doubt, as your friends. We're always here for advice. Nobody knows everything, and it's up to us Moms to band together and help each other.

Tonya Marks said...

Kat, You and Derek are going to be "rocking" parents . . .but you might as well plan on getting used to the idea of not always being in complete control (God can help you with that, he has me!). I have seen lots of parents - some I thought were too protective, others too lax and everything in between. I think I learned from our parenting class earlier this year that as long have our homes are places of love and honor, the kids are going to turn out fine. I know your kiddos will be way loved (already are)! So buckle in tight (with or without those carseats) and get ready for an amazing adventure!

Much love,
Tonya

Chrissy said...

As a parent, everyday is a learning experience for me. It seems like everyday there is something new. Sometimes it's hard to figure out what the "right" thing to do it, but I use my resources the best I can (friends, message boards, books, family) and we work through it in way that works for us. You will get advice (usually well meaning) coming at you from every angle, but remember that you are the parents and you need to do what is best for you and your children.

As far as the carseats....I'm a bit of a carseat nut. hahaha I read as much as I can about proper installation and use and all the different kind of seats ans where to get the good deals. =) If you have any questions let me know. If I can't answer them, I can point you to some great message boards where there will definitely be someone with answers.

Jodi said...

Kat - none of us are ever prepared! I learn new things everyday. Like Tonya said - the parenting class helped me too. A home full of love with proper boundaries and honor to both children and parents is all you really need! You and Derek will be awesome parents - NOT PERFECT ones but awesome. Your relationship to each other shows that you already have the love and honor and we all know how much you love the kiddos :) It is a crazy wild ride and changes everyday, but like I told you before savor every moment and make lots of memories!!! Love ya!

Brent said...

One tid bit for IA kids at the beginning is to keep it small and simple. Keep even the spaces they hang out in your house even small and limit their spaces and "stuff" they play with somewhat limited. Their little heads and spin with all the space, rooms, and stuff. At the homes they live in now, the spaces they live in and use is probably limited. Alina was somewhat over whelmed and overstimulated by all the room in our house. Just took a few months to get used to. Each kid is different but just and idea. Your kiddos may not be like that....

Ber Bolton said...

Kat-

None of us are ever fully prepared. Trust me, I read (and continue to read) parenting books, etc and while they are helpful, they are not the "end all-be all" to parenting because no child fits perfectly into the mold. It does help to seek advice of others....and sometimes it helps to ignore the advice of others! :)Trust yourselves as parents - you will know your child BEST so typically you will know how to best handle whatever comes up. And sure, you're going to mess up but that's okay because you're learning and doing the best you can. Keep in mind that you will be a better mother if you take time for yourself every once in a while. (I'm still learning how to do this!!!) And, also, that a loving realtionship b/t you & their Daddy is one of the best gifts you can give them throughout their life, so don't forget to make time for just the two of you too!
I can't wait to meet those precious kiddos we've prayed about for so long. I especially can't wait to see you guys interact as a family...what a beautiful thought!

MR said...

Read the books, ask for advice, but in the end do what works best for your family. Do what you think is best for the two of you and your children. If it works best for a kiddo to sleep in your bed, then do it...they will not still be sleeping with you when 16 (maybe!!). I have really had to learn to just trust God and our decisions as parents and tune out some of the other well meaning advice!! Traditional methods do not always apply to IA kids.

Most of all enjoy each moment, remember it will not be perfect, but just enjoy as much as you can! It goes by way too fast! I have a strong feeling the two of you will be just fine!!
Mary Rae

Dana said...

Like everyone said you are never fully ready per se..

I do not think you and Derek can really do "parenting" wrong..:D

Do what feels right and it will all be ok.. and if you every have doubts you have so many people who you can turn too..

You are already amazing parents..:D

When we became parents..our whole world changed..for the better...

We do basically everything with Maggie..and never really feel the need to have Drew & Dana time without her..though we do every so often..but we talk about her or buy her presents..lol

DO what feels best to you guys and it will all fall into place..Life is just beginning for you guys in my opinion..and it is going to be amazing!...Love you~

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