Virtually everything we do, at least in part, is to feed the ego. The extravagant popularity of Twitter is a perfect example. Twitter is about self-promotion, plain and simple, and it has quickly become the top social media platform featuring not just athletes, businesses, celebrities and entertainers, but a plethora of people who have no real interest in gaining “followers” other than satisfying their own sense of pomp.
Ego in the workplace can be a beautiful thing. It can help us get noticed for a promotion, or help pad our bank accounts, or boost our self-esteem. There is nothing wrong with a healthy dose of ego.
But failure happens and one of the key arenas where everyone fails is as a new parent. Becoming a new parent is tantamount to beginning a new career, one in which you have no experience, no education, no guidance, no training, and no idea where to begin. As a new parent, it is easy to feel like you’re failing but as an egomaniac, it is difficult to stomach.
No one can destroy the vainglorious exterior of an egomaniac quicker than a baby. Babies are unpredictable. When your baby erupts in a fit of spontaneous screaming at 3a and you go down the “what the hell is wrong with him now” checklist and after everything has been taken care of, he is still crying, your ego will be crying with him. There is no better example of a truly humbling moment than trying to console and inconsolable newborn.
There is no room for ego as a new parent. No matter how much literature you read, who you talk to, or what you’ve experienced in your adult life, nothing will adequately prepare you for a newborn. Fellow egomaniacs, bear in mind that I offer no assurance that everything will be alright!
Admittedly, it sucks to be ill prepared. It is detestable when you are not set up for success. As I’ve struggled through the early months of parenthood, I’ve learned to put my ego aside and learn from my own baby, since no one else is sufficiently able to tell me how to care for my own kid.
Babies are unique, just like everyone else. Accepting that you are a novice and a simpleton is the first step towards solving your own little Rubik’s Cube of comfortless fleshy tissue. I’ve never claimed to be a good parent, or for that matter, even an adequate one.
I am an egomaniacal adult who’s succeeded collegiately, professionally, and personally. I’ve fallen from the ego tree and hit every branch of humility on the way down. Up there somewhere, my baby is staring down at me…and he’s probably crying for no reason.