A fellow dad who is my age (25) posed a question in a Facebook group the other day: “Aren’t we too young for this?”
That, my friend, is an easy answer that is difficult for many people to wrap their brains around. You see, we all believe age delineates knowledge by experience. The younger you are, the less experienced you are therefore you are not as skilled or knowledgeable as your elders. In many cases that’s true, but for this one … no. Not at all.
I’ll answer as bluntly as he posed his question:
We all go into this parenting thing the same. No matter how much we prepare we all go in the same blubbering, confused mess. From then on out, all you can do is your best. That’s all we, as parents, ever do. We do our best from day to day.
So do your best today. If you make it through, congrats. Then do your best again tomorrow.
Screw up? Learn from it, and try again.
Raising a human being is more complex than anyone can realize. So complex, in fact, that there is no algorithm or style or training that will prepare you for the process. You must have the constant ability to think on your feet and enjoy the quiet moments in between.
The best part, though?
It’s what we were made to do. All of us. We’re every single one of us capable. The only limit is the lack of confidence in oneself to complete this mission. Perhaps that’s why he asked the question in the first place. Not sure if he can handle it and trying to justify his feeling of failure by considering his age.
Yes, we are young parents. But we are all, by no means, perfect parents.
To quote the Mythbusters: “Failure is always an option.”
Obviously there are certain HUGE things that you cannot fail at, such as the whole feeding thing. However, what the phrase truly means is that every failure provides you with data — knowledge that will help you in your continued success.
Young parents — do not fear. Even on your worst day, you are doing the absolute best.
A version of this first appeared on Dad on the Mic.