Parenting Podcast: Labor Pains
Worrying is like a favorite pastime of mine. I’ve gotten quite good at it over the years. So being pregnant wasn’t an ideal fit for my personality type. My son’s fetal hiccuping gave me reassurance each day as a reminder that he was still growing and active. I went to every doctor’s appointment and had everything checked out–genetic diseases, “nuchal translucency screening” and anatomy scans. I also spent a lot of time keeping my fears in check, which I have come to learn is part of the work of parenting. Although I knew nothing was for sure, I felt pretty confident that I was carrying a healthy baby.
But just moments after he was born, panic really hit me. I asked the doctor, “What happens when someone doesn’t want to go to a dance with him?!” The doctor chuckled and told me it was bound to happen. Not to belittle physical ailments, but I realized that what I was really up against were the pains of the soul. There are going to be pains he will suffer, like a broken heart, to which as a mom I will be a much less effective salve than I will to those like a skinned knee (to borrow a phrase).
Parenting is a tough job, and one that changes just as you think you’re getting the hang of it. I have found comfort in the fraternity of other parents and the words of wisdom from Jewish tradition and compassionate experts like Dr. Wendy Mogel. That’s why I’ve been seeking out wisdom and recording it to share in the form of URJ Parenting Podcasts. Listen to what Dr. Mogel has to say this week about the pain of raising children, comparing adolescence to the time the Israelites spent wandering in the desert.
Wendy Grinberg, RJE is a URJ Parenting Specialist.
Watch Dr. Wendy Mogel’s speech at the 2011 URJ Biennial.