Decisions are a part of life. As adults, we must make decisions that could potentially make or break the present or the future. As parents, this responsibility is even harder, as our decisions now could have repercussions years and decades from now.
Of course, there are times that Life itself makes decisions for you. Like this:
Keith and I obviously weren't planning for this, but, it happened, and I'd say we've dealt beautifully.
I think our first joint decision was when we decided not to find out the sex of the baby. Throughout my pregnancy, we dealt with people telling us that we were crazy for not finding out, how could we not know, or the accusations of not wanting to be prepared.
We were prepared. Boy, were we prepared. We don't particularly believe in gender roles, or gender-specific items. We both agreed that boy or girl, we would try to keep the larger items neutral for future children. We both agreed that Lentil's (what we called the Alec while he was in my tummy) room would be a nice, sunny yellow. Prepared to us did not mean picking out pink or blue clothing or bedding sets that were gender-specific that weren't going to be used anyway. We did all of our research that we needed. We toured the hospital's labour and delivery unit. We prepared financially....well, somewhat - to an extent. We prepared ourselves, as individuals and as a team, to be just that - a team...a unit.
This first decision that we made had a great payoff in the end. When I delivered Alec, the OB asked Keith to look at the baby and to announce the sex. That's when Keith said, "I see balls!"
So it began. Our decisions at times were easy. Others...not so much. Like choosing our pediatrician. We met with only one, and liked him right off the bat. So far so good. He gives advice that not only is sound, but is in line with our parenting approach.
The hardest decision we've had to make so far, is in regard to sleep. It's been a rough road, this sleep-training thing. Alec is now sleeping far better than he used to, but we still hit bumps. When we talked about how we wanted to go about training him, we both agreed we didn't want to just 'let him cry'. But yet we both needed sleep. We knew the habits that we create and enforce from now on will have a bearing on Alec for the rest of his life.
We know that the toughest decisions lie ahead. We obviously want what's best for us as individuals, as a couple, as a family. We obviously want Alec and any other kids we may have, to grow up into human beings with a sense of community, morals and ethics, with respect towards themselves and others.
I look around myself, and I see examples of what sort of child I want to raise, as well as examples of the sort of child I definitely do not want to raise. I have absolute faith in our ability to parent to the best of our abilities...
...and sometimes, that's the best one can do. But for the time being, I pride myself (and Keith) on succeeding at creating a good sleeper.