Ever since my little guy was born, everyone has told me how lucky I am. He usually sleeps through the night, only waking up once, or sometimes not at all, to feed at an ungodly hour. Heck, there’s been times when I wake up at 7:30 and think, “Wow, we just slept like normal people?!” LT also never really fusses, unless he is hungry (or WAY tired), but a quick bottle calms him quickly. He is also a pretty good self-soother, and can calm himself if I take too long to notice that he needs something. He’s an easy-going baby, loves meeting and playing with new people, and lets complete strangers hold him (not STRANGERS, they’re family/friends), and when people tell me I’m lucky, it makes me feel good. But some days, I don’t feel lucky. At all. Some days I feel like a terrible mother and a failure. If LT doesn’t nap for longer than 30 minutes at a time during the day, or fusses for nearly an hour without me being able to comfort him, I get frustrated. I blame myself for not making him comfortable enough, or if he spits up after eating, or for not knowing how to soothe him (after cycling through the usual suspects of hunger, wet diaper, too hot/cold, etc.), or for not being a freaking mind reader. HOW DARE I NOT BE A MIND READER! But after over two months of this mom business, I’ve realized that not only do I have it pretty easy, but I’m not a bad mom for not being able to stop his crying.
News flash: BABIES CRY. Sometimes, for no real reason. They just want to cry. It’s true. I’ve learned to accept this and also accept the fact that there are other parents out there who have it WAY worse. People with twins on different sleep schedules, or colicky babies, or babies with allergies… I am lucky. With LT, everything has been smooth, for the most part. Breastfeeding was a complete nightmare, but once we accepted that formula (although not as ideal for them) is a great alternative, I was okay. Sometimes it still stings that I can’t give my baby breast milk… but he has a full tummy and is growing perfectly. That’s all the matters, right? Other things were much easier for us though. The very first bottles we ever used with him (Avent), he liked. The first formula we tried, he wasn’t allergic to/didn’t make him gassy. Pacifiers, on the other hand, have been a bit trickier, but all-in-all, it’s been a breeze… and a money saver.
It can be hard, especially for an inexperienced, new mom to hear their baby cry. Hell, there’s been a few times when I just couldn’t figure out what he wanted, and it made ME cry. I never grew up around babies. Never had friends with small siblings or babies. Even now, I only know a few people with young ones, and of course, none of them live ANYWHERE near me. This whole baby thing is SUPER new to me. I have a great support system though, and loads of cool moms on Facebook and Twitter who are willing to toss advice my way, despite the fact that I’m really stubborn when it comes to accepting help. Always have been. I also secretly scour the internet, reading sites like babycenter.com to answer questions I may have. Seriously, that site is amazing. I started reading the day I found out I was pregnant, and I use it nearly every day to answer random baby questions, like how much formula your baby is supposed to get in day (apparently it’s 2.5 ounces for every pound they weigh), and to track the different milestones babies reach as they grow.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, even though it’s annoying when people tell you that it’s okay to make mistakes when parenting, and that no one is perfect, it is also TRUE. We all want to be perfect. We are all secretly competing with other moms to be the best (don’t lie to yourself, you know you do it). But as long as you love your baby and try your best to keep them happy, then YOU ARE A GOOD MOM. YES. YOU. YOU ARE A GREAT MOM! I know it doesn’t always feel like it, and that you get frustrated… but to this tiny human, you are their whole world. You feed them when they are hungry, you change their diaper when they are wet/poopy, you hold them and make them feel safe and warm and comforted. You are a rock star to your kid(s). A freaking super hero. I try not to forget this, and I hope you remember it as well.
Rock on, super moms!