Sunday, April 7, 2013

A New Leaf

Every women has an idea in her head of the mother she will be the second she sees those lines pop up. You can't help but start to day dream about all the things that will soon come to be. What convictions you will stand by. What will roll off your back. What techniques you believe in. Every soon to be mom has a mile long list of things they will never do and their child will never do. Then you bring home your baby and real quick your list dwindles down to the sole I will never.

1. I will never say I will never again.

I remember when I was pregnant I was so huge on having no battery operated toys. My family would always laugh that Molly was going to have to entertain herself with a stick. I can't take a step without something going off. Not that it matters much now, but Molly was cloth diapered for her first year. Now she is usually in underwear or butt naked. Natalie was never cloth diapered. With Molly we did baby led weaning. (skipping purees and going straight to solids) Natalie is not even three months and I am already thinking about how easy twisting off a jar lid looks when the time comes.

As time passes it's not that all my convictions of motherhood have gone. I still stand by the basis. I love attachment parenting. I 100% believe in co sleeping and baby wearing and breastfeeding even though I no longer am.

 Still there is so much that I thought I would do or be that has flown out the window. Whether it be that it didn't work the way I thought or it wasn't for the child I have or the fact that time is no longer on my side.

We all have expectations of who we will be when our baby comes into our lives. It's easy to have your ideas set to something specific, but the problem with that is that babies and children fit no mold. You can have any idea you want, but your child may have a completely different idea, personality, or need.

I still stand by research, preparation, and having parental goals. Here is what I no longer stand by. Feeling like a failure because I don't fit the mold I thought I would.

It came to me through several comments and some deep thinking. I'm not a bad mom and I shouldn't be hard on myself. I have set an insanely high standard for myself that not even my children expect of me. They want love, shelter, food, and everything else is just fluff. We don't need to do a daily craft. It's ok that my iPad has probably taught her more things than I have. It's ok that some days there is way too much CSI going on in the background. It's ok that her first combined words were chicken nugget.

They never go to bed feeling unloved. That above all tells me I'm doing this right. The thing is setting this unattainable standard isn't making me strive for more. It's making me crack under pressure.

So I'm throwing out my ideas of the perfect mom, and I'm making up my mind that the perfect mom is the one I see in the mirror. Not just because I don't want the pressure, but because I don't want to teach my girls to put that kind of pressure on themselves. They don't need to be perfect. They need to be who they are and they need to be ok with it. They need to know that doing your best is good enough and it doesn't matter what you see everyone else doing. You don't know how that seemingly perfect person feels about themselves anyway. So this isn't just for me. It's so I can be the kind of role model I want to be. If there is one thing I knew then and still know now it's that if there is something I couldn't do for myself I know two people I can always do it for easy.

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