When I was expecting my first child, I spent much of the pregnancy reading baby books. My particular obsession was how to Get the Baby into a Routine and Sleep Through the Night. On my quest, I read Gina Ford, The Baby Whisperer and What To Expect When You're Expecting, to name a few. However, not one of them gave me even the slightest notion of what it really means to be a parent. If I knew then what I know now, I would quickly skim the books, then read the following poem by SARK each day.
I first came across this poem when heavily pregnant with my second child, suffering through severe pelvic girdle pain while engaged in daily power struggles with my two-year-old who had just learned the words “no” and “why”! It had a profound impact on me at the time. The lines “Say yes as often as possible” and “Say no when necessary” magically reduced the power struggles. The “put them in water” line is my if-all-else-fails option.
It now hangs in my kitchen and, whenever I am in need of parenting inspiration (i.e. every day), I try to remember the central message. My favourite line is “Remember how small they really are!” – It helps me to remember that this time is so precious.
I'm off to build a fort!