From the first time your child gets an ear infection to when they first borrow your car keys – we’re here for you. Your pediatricians at Kaiser Permanente in Northern California created this blog to offer you support and guidance when you need them.
As parents, our love is wide. But with this powerful love comes a sense of vulnerability. We all worry about our children’s well-being and health. As your doctors, we understand this and want to walk beside you on your parenting journey.
Being a parent isn’t easy for any of us. It can feel hard, challenging, and even lonely. Don’t misunderstand me – children are wonderful! Interacting with them – talking with my own teens, getting to know kids who are my patients, and holding new babies in my practice – forms the best part of my day. Children bring a sense of joy, happiness and youthful wisdom to the world. They make me laugh and think, which I’ve enjoyed throughout my years as a doctor and mother. But let’s face it – being a parent isn’t always easy for any of us.
We all struggle – from those early days with a newborn when you can’t even find time to take a shower, to the days of trying to teach a stubborn teen to drive safely. We wonder what we’re doing wrong, how everyone else makes it look so easy, and whether our kids are going to turn out okay!
Along with love for that beautiful baby, parenthood brings with it a healthy dose of fear and worry. As you leave the hospital, you carry with you not only the expected bundle of joy but also a new-found ability to worry. You never thought you could love or care for someone so much. You may also feel like you don’t have a clue how to take care of that amazing baby! As the author Anne Lamott implies with the title of her book of the same name, no one gives you a set of Operating Instructions with the baby!* This can be terrifying since, as she explains, “There really are places in the heart you don’t even know exist until you love a child.”
With blog posts to offer support, ideas, and links to other reliable sources, let this become your set of operating instructions. Based on our collective years of pediatric experience, we’ll help you find your own path as a parent.
* Lamott, Anne. (2005). Operating instructions: A journal of my son’s first year. New York: Anchor Books.
Disclaimer: If you have an emergency medical condition, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. An emergency medical condition is any of the following: (1) a medical condition that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity (including severe pain) such that you could reasonably expect the absence of immediate medical attention to result in serious jeopardy to your health or body functions or organs; (2) active labor when there isn't enough time for safe transfer to a Plan hospital (or designated hospital) before delivery, or if transfer poses a threat to your (or your unborn child's) health and safety, or (3) a mental disorder that manifests itself by acute symptoms of sufficient severity such that either you are an immediate danger to yourself or others, or you are not immediately able to provide for, or use, food, shelter, or clothing, due to the mental disorder. This information is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of specific medical advice or care you receive from your physician or other health care professional. If you have persistent health problems, or if you have additional questions, please consult with your doctor. If you have questions or need more information about your medication, please speak to your pharmacist. Kaiser Permanente does not endorse the medications or products mentioned. Any trade names listed are for easy identification only.