Before I became a parent, I had a gazillion fears: Was I ready? Would I drop the baby? What if he had crazy colic and I couldn’t cope? My biggest fear, however, was that my approach to parenting — like many other parts of my life — would be driven by and riddled with worry and anxiety.
I worried that I would hold my child back because of the 1 million “what ifs” that live in my mind. I would spend hours debating how in the world I was going to let a small human being go to school by himself, for example. This wasn’t helpful, of course, but throughout my pregnancy, every day came with a different worry. And the more I worried, the less prepared I felt to raise a child. Every shooting I saw on television nearly gave me a heart attack, every disease seemed to be heading straight for me. Our minds are amazing at mind-tricks, and mine seemed to have convinced me that I was carrying a disaster magnet who would not survive if I was not able to shield him.
But then something magical happened — I had my son, and he is the bravest, most fearless person I know. For the first time in my life, I am living up close and personal with somebody who trusts his instincts and goes for whatever he wants. At 10 months, his philosophy is very clearly “if it’s wrong, somebody will stop me”. Whenever he sees something interesting, he goes for it! He does not have one million “what ifs” in his mind. He is resilient, it doesn’t matter if he falls 100 times, he gets up again. He adapts to his environment when something doesn’t work, he tweaks the formula a bit and then goes in for a second attempt. I love it!
The best part about it is, he is healing me. If this little human being is fearless, how can I be scared? He thinks I have all the answers; how can I second guess myself? Being a parent has given me a gift that has been elusive all these years. The ability to live in the present and be fully immersed in what’s going on. I have zero anxiety over my baby. We are the most adventurous eaters, players, and socializers out there. This has spilled over to other areas of my life too, I have no anxiety over my career and what is coming next. If anything, I have more clarity on my purpose and how I want to spend energy. I am living a far more fulfilling life now. Somehow, my capacity expanded — I’m pursuing my passions and I am genuinely content with my place in life. All because I met this kid, who wakes up and takes each day as it comes with a huge smile on his face. God knows, I did not see that coming.
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