This is a picture of a sunflower from my garden this summer. It was colorful and beautiful and definitely the best that grew this year. The thing is that I didn’t plant it. Unlike my carefully planned and tended vegetable garden (which yielded next to nothing), the sunflower was an accident. The seed fell from the birdfeeder above, germinated, and grew into a thriving plant.
In a way, this reminded me of the postpartum period and parenting in general. When I was pregnant, I thought about my unborn child all the time, and what she would be like and about being a mother. Of course, it is impossible to understand parenthood until you are there and impossible what your child will be like. No matter how carefully you plan, there is only so much that is under your control. There are bound to be differences between what you expect (and want) and what really happens. From the gender of your child to how involved your family is, there is certainly a lot of acceptance and letting go to be done. Sometimes it is difficult to not hold on to disappointment and resentment, but the end result will be worth it.I could have viewed the sunflower as a weed. I could have plucked it out and tried planting vegetables again. Instead I was open-minded, and ended up with something unplanned and unexpected, but definitely special.
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