Parenting 101: None of us knows what the heck we are doing

Oftentimes, you are just winging it according to circumstances

In Summary

• Baby ailments are one of the mysteries that bring out a lot of guesswork


Mother’s Day 2022. My first mother’s day. Also the day my son turned eight months. While other mothers enjoyed their treats and special day, my hands were full with my bubbly and recently moody tot.

It is also the day I turned my son into a Will Smith look-a-like from the movie 'Hitch' after he had a shellfish allergic reaction. After lunch, my baby would not stop scratching so we took a bath and I gave him CalPol as a precautionary measure. I had carefully thought of and calculated the best day to feed him eggs, yet he still might have reacted to them. Although, at this rate, it could have been anything; his new bath soap, an insect bite, his clogged tummy or even the freaking weather!

The first thing I learnt about parenting is that we do not know what we are doing. We just try and do our best no matter the circumstances and hope to God that we end up with a half decent human being with few issues. It is sort of like making your way through the dark by feeling things around you and hope to reach that light at the end of the tunnel.

I remember the first time they brought the baby to our room at the hospital and my husband remarked that I was lifting him wrong. It was not wrong or right, it was just the way I did it. Many of us have heard of the saying, “Just do what’s best for your child.” Well you know what, that involves a whole lot of guesswork and trial and error.

The most adventurous part of parenting is that there is no comfort zone. Even if you find what works for your child, the odds are it will change by the next growth phase! Therefore, we have to keep guessing and failing until we find the right way that works for our children… Then do it all over again in a whole other period with different challenges.

As an adult and as a parent now, I look at my own parents and realised they too winged this whole parenting thing. Sometimes it was a hit, sometimes it was a miss. To date, I can clearly see when they panic because they do not know what to do but they have to do something since they are the parents. It is amusing really, to think of the people who were your whole world as kids as just average Joes who practically just guessed their way around parenting.

So here I am, wrapping up my first Mother’s Day by documenting a bunch of scenarios for the doctor’s visit tomorrow. Odds are she will make me run half a dozen tests that will all come out clear so that I leave the hospital feeling reassured. But what caused the attack in the first place, we might never know!