That’s me. A very sleep deprived me. It was Mother’s Day, 2010, and E was about 3 three weeks old. She hadn’t figured out that nights were for sleeping, and instead would cry all night and sleep all day. Most of those nights I would woner, what am I doing wrong? Then self doubt would enter my mind and I’d think Am I doing this right?
There is no handbook for parenting, although most days I wish there was. It’s all about choices. Undoubtedly, each choice I make comes with a sacrifice of some sort.
I formula fed both children. I tried with E, and after a few weeks went to the bottle. I didn’t even try with A. Sometimes, I let the very pro-breastfeeding points of view enter my mind, and I wonder if my kids are at some sort of health or intelligence disadvantage because they were formula fed. And I wonder, am I doing this right?
Sometimes I lose my patience. E likes to challenge me, and most days I can handle it. But every once in awhile I can’t. I wonder on those days if my short temper is something she will learn. I wonder if she knows that even though I might be mad, I still love her. And I wonder, am I doing this right?
When A was a newborn, I let E watch movies and television. I had to, to survive. When we’d go to the doctor and he’d say “no more than one hour a day”, I would cringe inside. Sometimes I wonder if, during those three moths, she missed out on some good brain development time. I still think, did I do that right?
But then, each day when the sun is setting and the girls are getting ready for bed, we cuddle. And in that moment when A has her head tucked in to the crook of my arm, and looks up at me with her big, grey eyes, I know that I’ve done something right.
Every night, when E requests that I sing her a song, we lay on her bed cuddling and singing. As I run my fingers through her long, blond hair while her eyes get heavy, I know I’ve done something right.
Being a mother is hard. Every day there is a new challenge, and every day there is something to worry about. Something to make you wonder if you’ve made the right decision. But in those quiet moments, it becomes clear to me. My children are fed, clothed, have shelther, and most importantly, are loved. And that reminds me that I’m doing something right.
Today I wish that mothers wouldn’t be so hard on themselves. To remember that their children are ok – that you are doing something right, even on those days when it doesn’t seem like it.
Linking up with Anne.