I never had much interest in dolls when I was little. I only liked to play with stuffed animals, preferably beavers. My grandmother couldn't stand it. She bought me doll after doll, hoping to find one I would like. No luck. I just couldn't stand dolls, or anything else in the nauseating "pink aisle."
"How are you going to learn how to take care of a baby if you don't play with dolls?" my grandma asked me once. Looking back, her statement doesn't make a whole lot of sense; it's not as if my stuffed animals were preparing me for a career as a zookeeper or veterinarian. But I do understand her concern that my lack of interest in plastic babies meant I lacked interest in ever having real ones.
This should probably be the part of the story when I say that my grandmother was completely wrong, and that I grew up to be a woman who just loves babies and couldn't wait to have her own. But that's just not true. That wasn't me. Sure I liked kids and wanted two or three someday, but I'm just more comfortable with animals. If I hadn't gotten married, I probably would have become a crazy cat/dog/blue tongue skink lady and been perfectly happy with my life.
Was I "ready" for motherhood when I became a mother? I'd never even changed a diaper! Nathan had to teach me. But my lack of experience aside, I don't think I ever would have reached a point in life when I truly felt ready to become responsible to care for and raise another human. I mean, babies turn into teenagers! Is anyone ever really ready for that? I don't know if I ever will be.
Sometimes you just have to jump into the water and hope you can swim, and so far I'm still managing to tread water. I'm still not a baby person and I doubt I ever will be, but I adore my baby and look forward to having more kids. Not only have I figured out how to change diapers, I switched to cloth diapers when Evan was 5 months old!
Am I doing it all perfectly? Of course not. I doubt there's any aspect of parenting I do anywhere close to perfectly. I'm making it up as we go, and I'm sure most parenting "experts" would say I'm doing just about everything wrong, either holding him too much or too little, feeding him too much solid food or too little, etc. But you know what? Evan doesn't seem to know that I'm doing it wrong. He seems to think I'm kind of awesome, and that's good enough for me.
Do you feel ready to be a parent? If you have kids, did you feel ready to be a parent when your first child was born?