Every now and then, life throws me something that I really don’t want to deal with. It might be something that scares me a little, or intimidates me, or maybe it’s something that I don’t feel qualified to handle.
There have been lots of these moments so far with raising a child.
Not too long after my husband and I brought our son home from the hospital, it happened for the first time. The baby had a fever. We checked his temperature using the electronic thermometer you scan across the forehead. As my husband held the squirming baby, I took a first reading. It was a little high, so I took it again to confirm and this time it was totally normal. A third time, it was low. I knew we needed to take his temperature the OTHER way to get an accurate reading, but I was terrified. I didn’t want to do it. I stalled. My husband was even less willing than I was. As I stood there over my sick baby, it really sunk in: this sweet baby boy is completely dependent on me to figure this out. THIS is what life is asking of me right now and I can either step up and accept the challenge or risk watching my baby suffer. So I Googled it, called a friend, watched a few YouTube videos, and figured it out. I owned the challenge and now it doesn’t scare me anymore.
Since then, my favorite phrase has become “I’ll handle it.”
I’m learning to say this in motherhood, at work, and in life. Things come up all the time that scare me, and my initial reaction is sometimes to want to go stick my head in the sand and pretend everything’s ok. But I know the challenges are only going to get harder and more complicated as my son gets older. So I’d better get comfortable with handling the hard stuff now.
Since I’ve become a mother, I’ve learned that “handling it” means showing up — saying YES to life and to motherhood and the daily circumstances in which I find myself. It means I have to be willing to dig in, get my hands dirty, and get creative if necessary. It requires being present, paying attention to the world around me, recognizing where I can make an impact, and taking action to do so.