COLUMN: Learning to trust the maternal instinct

Second-guessing every single parenting choice isn't productive.

It seems like just yesterday that we carried our firstborn into the school board office to decide on her fate.

Little Miss Molly was just three months old and we were your typical first-time parents – nervous about making any wrong decisions.

Would our pint-size Picasso grow up to be an artist? With that in mind we eagerly checked  the box signing her up for the Fine Arts School.

“What about French Immersion?” I suggested to my husband Jason.

“Oui,” he replied, ticking off that box too.

There was also the fundamental school and Montessori program on the list. Check and check.

Neither of us knew anything about the latter two schools, but figured there was no point in limiting our bambina’s educational potential.

Fast forward five years later – five of the fastest years of our lives – and there we were trying to decide which school to send our future kindergartner to. Since we registered her for school practically straight out of the womb, there were no shortage of options.

Despite deciding on one of the “choice schools” from that list five years prior, I was second-guessing myself.

Had I made the right decision registering her for a school across town? Going there would mean committing to driving Molly and eventually her little sister, Zoe, to and from school for the next 12 years.

Play dates would become complicated – would we still hear little knocks at the door from school mates spontaneously popping by to play?

And yet, even with all this in mind, I felt paralyzed with crippling “choice”’ anxiety.

Maybe I was just being lazy? Or was I selfish? Perhaps a combo of both?

When it doubt, I did what many daughters do in turmoil. I called my mom.

Growing up in a low-income single-parent family, we moved. A lot. For myself, it  meant being the new kid eight times, which wasn’t always easy.

“You went to regular schools and look how you turned out,” said my mother during a phone call. “Life is hard enough, why make it more complicated? I really think you’re over-thinking this.”

It wasn’t until dropping Molly off for her first day at her neighbourhood school, just a hop, skip and puddle jump away, that I realized mom was right – and I’m not just talking about my own mother.

“Mommy, all my friends from preschool are here and they have a library and water fountains too!” said our little cherubic scholar, who was grinning from dimple-to-dimple when I picked her up from her first day of kindergarten.

On the way home she skipped through puddles and waved to new friends who we discovered live in our same complex.

Perhaps it is time I started trusting my own maternal instinct rather than second-guessing every single choice.

Well, at least until it’s time to start filling out post-secondary education applications…

Kristyl Clark is the founder of the family ‘blogazine’ ValleyMom.ca. She’s also a host of the online show Fraser Valley 5. Follow her on Twitter at @shesavalleymom

 

Surrey North Delta Leader

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: The day 28,000 Lollapalooza-goers rocked Cloverdale in 1994

Fans share memories of drugs, bad Smashing Pumpkins, Nick Cave walk-off and ‘letdown’ of Surrey date

Surrey veteran feels pinch from COVID-19 after cancelled surgery

Caught between two countries, and low income, soldier feels he’s been forgotten

Surrey parents, students navigate remote learning during COVID-19

The Surrey school district teachers are slowly rolling out plans for new way of educating

Two people fined for trying to re-sell N95 and surgical masks in Delta

Police confiscated over 5,000 masks and are working with Fraser Health to see them put to good use

Peace Arch News ad sparks discussion about value of community newspapers

White Rock resident hopes front-page note shines light on revenue loss during COVID-19 crisis

VIDEO: How doctors in Canada will decide who lives and dies if pandemic worsens

Officials in several provinces have been developing guides so that doctors don’t feel alone

Sex workers face new risks during COVID-19 pandemic

‘Desperation has kicked in’ for vulnerable, undocumented workers unable to access help

Unclear if Cowichan couple refusing to self-isolate will face penalty

No fines or charges have been laid to date, including Cowichan couple who won’t self isolate

COVID-19: Postponed surgeries will be done, B.C. health minister says

Contract with private surgical clinic to help clear backlog

Vancouver man, 21, charged after mother found dead in Squamish home

Ryan Grantham, 21, has been charged with second-degree murder

Fraser Valley’s tulips fields off limits to visitors due to COVID-19

Abbotsford and Chilliwack tulip farmers have announced their festival season won’t go ahead

Don’t stop going to the doctor, just do it virtually: B.C. association

Doctors encourage patients to access telephone, online visits

Most Read