No One Is Prepared for Parenthood

When my wife was pregnant with our twin boys I made a list of all the songs I would sing to them when they were born. I listened to that list while driving and sang along getting ready for the day they would be born. When that day came three months early I used music to sooth my soul. I added those songs to the list, and then the boys came home and I didn’t sing to them.

It has been two and half years since they were born and I am finally singing to them. I deleted the app with the list off my phone so I don’t remember all the songs that are on it, and I have found that I have a very limited range when trying to sing.

I don’t think anyone is a bad singer and giving ourselves permission to do things poorly is one of the most important things we can do but I am an unpracticed singer. I am not good enough to sing many of the songs I’d like to.

The songs I have sung the most to my children are Red is the Rose, Sweet Baby James, Puff The Magic Dragon, and For Baby. All good songs but there are others I have tried. The other night I attempted Candle on the Water which was one of the songs that helped me through their NICU time. I couldn’t do it. That song was far beyond my abilities and I told them let’s let Helen Reddy sing that one for you, and looked up a YouTube video on my phone.

I did have one of my boys request a song from me the other night. He crawled into my lap and started saying red over and over again until I got the hint which is difficult because they like to name the color of everything. That was a good night. I sang and rocked him until he fell asleep and know that it will be a memory I look back on.

I was prepared for parenthood. I tried to come up with a list of songs, and I failed miserably. There is no preparing for parenthood. It is something you just have to do. You can try and prepare. Plan out what type of parent you’re going to be and all that but no plan survives contact with a child.

I was prepared for one reality and was presented with another. I put off doing something I had looked forward to and prepared for during my wife’s pregnancy for two and a half years. Now that I am doing it I am enjoying it and look forward to it every day but I do have a hard time singing to my children with my wife in the room. That might be the next step. Getting over her presence to sing to my children.

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