I remember the absurdity of the words once uttered to my husband and I when we were just on the brink of entering parenthood. I was eager to listen, hoping for a precious nugget of wisdom from these more experienced hands, but all I got was this:
Better go and watch as much movies as you like. Once the child is here, you won’t be able to do that for awhile.
And that was all.
I must say, I was rather disappointed. In hindsight, of course, I can understand why this person said what they had, but honestly, missing out on being at the cinema these past few years hasn’t really been that big a deal for me. I know for some it might be, and my husband is one of them, but it isn’t that important to me.
I wonder now what I would or should say to new parents. Would I have something useful to proffer or would it be something they would just brush off as trivial the way I did? What is worth saying?
I probably will have to rethink this many more times, but for now, this is what I can think of:
Congratulations on being brave enough to embark on this long term journey we know as parenthood. It is not without its challenges, but it also has an equally generous servings of joy and fulfillment. Sacrifices will be made. Things will be undoubtedly different. But you will find that mostly the good will outweigh the bad.
God will give you the grace to face each season that comes your way with this child. The world around you will confuse you with its endless streams of opinions and advice. Take what you need, ignore what is unnecessary. You have all it takes to parent your child. Only you know them best.
Let your home henceforth be filled with kindness:
Gentleness and patience to instruct and guide the little one;
Tolerance towards your spouse for all shortcomings, present and future;
And most importantly, forgiveness towards yourself, that on the days you are not proud of what you did in the heat of a moment, you can rest assured that a lifetime of love covers a multitude of mistakes.