Dear Laura,

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Dear Laura,

I’m going to go ahead and give you my best parenting advice now while you actually have time to read it!

There is no right or wrong way to be a parent.  That includes how to birth and feed your baby.  Your baby will teach you the kind of parenting he needs.  Trust your instincts and trust your baby.  If something doesn’t feel right, then it’s not right.  Nothing is permanent, nothing stays the same.  You will not scar him!

You will make mistakes.  You will not make the same mistakes your parents made.  You will make your own unique mistakes and your child will survive and probably thrive.  For better or worse, you are the only mother he will have and he will love you no matter how badly you think you have screwed up.

Your child will not be you.  He will not be anyone that you think he will be.  He will be someone who has never existed before.  He will inherit things you like about yourself and things you hate about yourself.  Sometimes this is painful.

You will lose your pre-baby self.  The only self you’ve ever known will get swallowed up and disappear.  For awhile you will be only a mother and you will be happy with that.  And one day you will say, “Wait a minute, where did I go?  Who am I?”  And then you will become a new self.

You will do things you never imagined you would do.  You will stand up to a 6ft scary crazy person on the subway and yell, “Don’t touch my child!”  You WILL get in a fight with another parent at the playground.  You will bump someone with the stroller (maybe on purpose).  You will curse in front of your child and he will repeat it.  You will sit him in front of the TV for 3 hours straight because you just need some peace and quiet.  You will stomp out of the public library when the librarian tells you to control your toddler.

He will get fully potty trained when he is good and ready.  And you will feed him M&Ms to make it happen if that’s what works.

You will cry when other children don’t want to play with him.  When his heart is broken, yours will break too.  When he laughs uncontrollably, you will laugh too just because he is laughing and not because anything is actually funny.

You will finally understand why potty words are so funny to boys and men.  Well, you may not understand, but you will accept it because the first time, I mean the VERY first time your son hears the word “POOP”, he will laugh until he can’t breath.

You will learn what it truly means to have no control and to have faith.  And you will have to relearn it over and over again.  Because he will be okay.  Because of and in spite of everything you do, he will be a unique human being that the world has been waiting for.  He will do things that can only happen because of him.  And you will have the best seat to watch it all unfold.

You will be the best mom ever!

Love, Dianne

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About kdiannepannullo

I am a teacher, lover, aunt, creator, writer, sister, liberal, socialist, designer, native Texan, poet, sister-in-law, crafter, student, dreamer, believer, advocate, recovering alcoholic, New Yorker, artist, and passionate consumer of McDonalds and Frito pie.

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