I have no idea how to do this.
I realize this truth at some point every day. When it hits me, I get roller-coaster belly and jelly knees, as the ground I thought I was standing on is suddenly gone. All that I had so proudly figured out yesterday no longer applies today. The knowledge that I’m flying blind, winging it, somehow left in charge of the entire well-being of this tiny human, is petrifying.
Before I had a baby I was barely able to keep plants alive. In fact, I prided myself on it. I was too full of myself, my work, to attend to the needs of dependents. I never babysat, didn’t have any aspirations for spending large amounts of time with kids and was uncomfortable holding newborns.
But now I have a daughter, a baby girl who is hungry, tired and screaming in the back seat because I still can’t figure out how to run errands, take care of the dog, see friends and get home in time for dinner and a bath before she passes out with tear-streaked cheeks squished against the car seat. At those moments, I close my eyes and tell myself (out loud) that I am not failing at this — but I usually don’t believe it.