I always knew having children was going to be an emotional experience. From the moment you are given that precious new person to hold and to care for, it’s like a neverending roller coaster of highs and lows. You fall so deeply in love with this amazing person, but you also deal with crippling exhaustion, unending worry, and moments of frustration that rival any board meeting antics you have dealt with in the past.
I can’t tell you the amount of times I cried during Drake’s first year of life, both out of happiness and utter defeat. Still I knew all of this when I signed up to be a parent. I knew I would emotionally become so invested in my children that their victories and defeats would feel like my own. I knew I would mourn the days as they grew up and relied on my less and less.
To quote Elizabeth Stone, “Making the decision to have a child – it is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” What I never expected though, was to become emotionally attached to those other people in my children’s lives — their doctors, teachers, therapists, etc.
When I held Drake as a newborn in my arms, I already knew the people who would play the most important roles in his life — me, his father, his grandparents, aunts, and uncles. But there were so many more supporting people who would also enter our lives. These people would play an enormous role in helping me parent and shape my children as they grew. They would care for them, guide them and give me advice to help me make the best decisions for my son and daughters. Their investment and care for my children also created an emotional bond for me as a parent, as we all worked to help my children grow to be the best people they were capable of becoming.