When I gave birth to my first child in 1983 at age 24, I realized about thirty-six hours into this new adventure that babysitting as a young teen, assisting with a pack of deaf Boy Scouts in college, and nannying part-time for a few months when I was first married was not sufficient training for motherhood. Though I never consciously figured any of it was, I’d stayed away from parenting books during my pregnancy. After more than a year of trying to conceive, I was completely focused on being pregnant. I figured I’d get to the parenting info when I needed it. When the student is ready, the teacher will appear, right? I wasn’t ready.
Once we came home from the hospital with a tiny baby girl on a July day where the temps were only slightly cooler than the surface of the sun, I had the 24/7 reality of motherhood as a motivator. At 3 a.m. on that first sleep-deprived night home with a newborn, I was now ready to tackle motherhood. [Read more]