With 12 years of being a mother under my belt I still have no clue what I am doing. The first child is the experiment, you go into this thinking you know everything and quickly realize you know nothing. You do the best you can to figure it out as you go and make every attempt to get them to their 18th birthday without screwing them up too much. Kid number 2 shows up and you once again go into this thinking you know everything because you have gone through it all once, only to learn that you still don't know anything. Kid number 3 arrives and by this point you realize that you still have no clue what you are doing and are just excited that you have managed to keep them all alive this long.
When you get pregnant you announce it to the world and are greeted with replies about how wonderful it is to be a mother and how there is nothing in the world as amazing. This is completely true. There is nothing that compares to the feeling you get when you look down at your helpless newborn and they look at you with nothing but love and trust. They rely on you for everything. They don't know of the evils of this world and their eyes light up with complete faith and trust in you, an innocent trust that is taken away from them way too soon no matter what you do to shield them from it.
As they get older you realize just how hard this thing called parenthood is. You will eventually look back and realize that those sleepless nights caused by a newborn wanting a bottle every 2 hours was the easy part and you will wish you could go back. You now stay up worrying because the teenage years have snuck up on you and you are completely unprepared. You worry about having "the talk" with them. You worry about them getting their licenses and letting them go out on the weekends without you to protect them. You worry that when they leave they will be in an accident. The list of worries is never ending. Most are not rational but mothers never are when it comes to their babies. Completely ridiculous, random things that will likely never happen pop into your head and open the flood gate for more even more ridiculous reason to worry to rush into your head.
It dawned on me that I only have 5 years left with Cheyanne. In 5 short years she will be an adult. There is so much left for her to learn. I wonder how I will manage to cram teaching her everything she needs to know into 5 years.
How do you explain to them how to be cautious of the evils of this world while shielding them from it? What do you do to ensure that you are raising your kids to be good people? How do you prepare them for life? We shield them from the real world for as long as we can and then we send them out into it unprepared for what they will be facing.
Raising kids is hard. You will certainly screw up. They will hate you at some point. You will sit back many times and wonder what you got yourself in to and if you will make it out alive with any of your sanity. As you watch them grow into young adults you will begin to see yourself in them. You will notice that all of the lessons you thought they were ignoring actually got through to them and that they will be ok. But you will still worry...til the day you die you will still worry because no matter how old they get, they will always be your innocent little baby.