Parenting in Abstract: Variables

Having a baby but also not having a baby. That’s what my wife Kerstyn’s pregnancy has been like for me.

Schrödinger’s baby.

Taking nine months to pack for life’s weirdest vacation. There are endless lists of what you need, don’t need, might need, need to avoid.

Every guide for preparation is entirely anecdotal and therefore basically useless.

You’re given tons of gifts that are both for you and not for you at the same time.

And that’s the hardest part for me – the variables. Endless, unknown, indeterminate variables. They can cause me a lot of stress and can make you overcomplicate situations. I prefers answers. I am always quick to google a bit of information I don’t know, because not knowing is bothersome.

But the lead into having a baby produces way more complications than it does resolutions.

  • Will she be healthy
  • Will she have allergies
  • Will all her parts work/exist (already ticked one “no” here – sayonara second kidney)
  • Do we have all the accessories we need
  • What kind of things will engage her best

This could go on forever. There can become so many questions that you either become permanently stressed and overwhelmed by them or you can try the philosophy I’ve adapted:

My wife and I are educated, employed and have a significant support network of family and friends. Many people have parented without those things. We will be fine.

Parenting is going to have a lot of mysteries and curveballs. That’s the definitive statement in this scenario. By itself, that offers me a lot of resolve to handle those obstacles better than if I had been worrying exponentially about the many diverging paths each question could result in. One small pebble to the windshield causes an increasingly complex spiderweb of paths to follow.

But I’m as ready as I’ll ever be, could be, or need to be. And when you commit to the spiderweb, you tend not to worry that it doesn’t follow a straight line.

Andrew • September 15, 2017

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