I’m not ready.
We crossed a significant line today and cut some apron strings – or at least lengthened them a little. It was our son’s first day at preschool.
It probably shouldn’t be a big deal, but I felt apprehensive and a little sick. I had butterflies in my tummy like it was my first day at school (and he was pretty much oblivious and just keen to start playing).
My butterflies caused me to over-plan everything. I packed him an extra drink bottle (why?) and double-labelled his lunch box and I even stuffed in a puffy vest at the last minute ‘in case he gets cold’.
The worrying voice in my head was yelling at me:
‘He isn’t ready!’
‘He’s too young!’
‘Keep him at home!’
‘You’re doing the wrong thing!’
But another gentler voice was also whispering:
‘He needs to be extended’
‘More play with other kids will do him good’
‘He is ready’
‘Two days a week will be great for all of you’
(DISCLAIMER: I don’t ‘actually’ hear voices for the record)
But even when I ignored both voices, there was still a little squeak inside me saying something else entirely.
It was saying ‘you are not ready’.
So this problem is entirely my own.
Because at the other end of the day I have a happy kid who had lots of fun and still gave me delicious kisses before bedtime. I have a happy kid who is sleeping now and looking forward to another play-filled day tomorrow. I have a happy kid that is thankfully oblivious to the turmoil that he has put his mummy through.
And when I reflect on my lack of readiness the feeling is really familiar.
I haven’t been ‘ready’ for any of this stuff.
I wasn’t ready to get pregnant.
I wasn’t ready to become a mum.
I wasn’t ready to leave my job.
I wasn’t ready to give birth.
I wasn’t ready to wean him.
I wasn’t ready to put him in his big bed.
I wasn’t ready to tackle this big parenting ‘thing’.
– I have never been ready for any of it.
So what’s the moral of this little end-of-day tale?
We are never ready for anything. Whatever will be, will be. And maybe it’s best to just go with the flow.
Be like water.
Be like the ping pong.*
Be like the kettle.
Whistle when you are done.**
* *the hotter it gets, the more we should try to whistle a happy tune.