New parenthood is filled with expectations, ideas, and theories. I know–I was there once. I, after all had been a teacher. I learned what not to do with my own children by watching others’ serious mistakes. None of us ever plan for a rebellious child or a disabled child. We have images of successes upon successes when we hold that perfect little bundle of joy in our hands. Even when we know that there may be something wrong. . .that baby is still perfect to us.
Trying to get it all right. . .causes us moms a lot of angst. I have a friend who stresses when she can’t go out. She doesn’t lose sleep over herself not being able to go out. She’s afraid that if she doesn’t get out every day, her child will not physically develop properly. One day indoors and there go the athletic scholarships. I know someone else who does tummy time with their child religiously believing that this extra 10 minutes of screaming on his belly will put him at an advantage over my own–non-tummied–children. We buy toys to build brainier babies, and we do our best to do it all right.
I think all moms want to do their best. It’s inherent in our mothering instincts. But we think we have it figured out. . .and then they start to talk. Or we get a second baby. Or other parts of life happen and we realize. . .that perhaps we don’t have it all together.
My memo to new moms today is to relax. If you enjoy your baby, love your baby and spend time with your baby. . .what you get wrong won’t matter that much. There is no such thing as a perfect mom and no such thing as a perfect baby. Sleeping through the night is not a badge of good parenting and you know what? There is no race to finish potty training.
So relax. Right now my darlings are sleeping. They look angelic. I’m sure your baby does too when he’s sleeping. So take a minute and soak it all in. Get on the floor today and play and act silly. Go ahead and order pizza once in awhile. Don’t replace your enjoyment of your child with a need to get it all right. You can’t. And you know what? Not only is that okay–it’s better that way.