Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Being a mom is humbling

I was sure I knew exactly the kind of mom I'd be. I'd be kind but firm, innovative, attentive, and fun. My daughter would be brilliant, athletic (okay, that one was always a bit of a stretch), and impeccably behaved. She'd walk early, talk early, sleep through the night early; we'd sign, we'd play, we'd go on outings. She'd love me and respect me and appreciate how awesomesauce I was at this whole mom gig. And I wouldn't ever brag. I'd be totally gracious about how perfect we were.


Here I am now with a 9 month old who doesn't sleep and who has now begun to throw temper tantrums. (Does that count as an early milestone?) She eats cheerios with every meal. We have no consistent nap schedule. She doesn't sign. She has a giant bruise on her face from an unfortunate incident with the coffee table.

But she's a great baby. Don't get me wrong. She's beautiful, she's funny, she's pleasant, and she loves me like crazy. She's healthy, she's growing, she's hitting all her milestones within the average range (although not early. Oh no. It's okay baby, mom's a klutz too). I'm not in the least disappointed with her.

Me on the other hand?


I've always been good at things. I was a straight A student. Usually I didn't have to try too hard, but when I had to? I did. Am I trying hard enough at this mom thing? Am I just incompetent at it? Why is it so hard?

I whine too much. I tweet too much. I forget to sign. I don't try enough new foods. I don't read enough books. I don't keep the house clean enough. (That Cheerio on the floor? Not for eating, Baby Girl. Not for eating.) I don't cuddle enough. I cuddle too much. I need to sleep train. I shouldn't think about sleep training.

I am not a star at this.

And I know other people struggle too. Although, not everyone, right? Some people are brilliant at it. So why am I not? It's so conceited of me, but I assumed I wouldn't just be AS good at this as all the other moms. I assumed I'd be better. I'm not even on the low end of average, people.

Probably it's good for me. Probably it's good for both of us. Hopefully, Baby Girl will turn out okay despite all my failings, and she'll have a mom who can tell her, it's okay not to always be perfect. It's okay to lose sometimes.

And, y'know, really mean it. Not just say it because I'm being gracious.


  1. Ah, the things we thought we knew before we became parents. ;) We were so arrogant and stupid, weren't we?

    I think every mother struggles with her parenting abilities. Even the ones who seem "brilliant" at it struggle with something - guilt, work-life balance, the decision to be a SAHM... something. I doubt any mother feels like she's got this gig down. And if one tells you otherwise, she's either lying or she's a robot.

  2. I have struggled with so many of the things you mention above. I am used to things coming so easily for me...why is being a mommy such a challenge? Why aren't I more sure of what I'm doing? Am I doing it wrong, or does everyone else just LOOK like they have it all together?

    I think it's the last one. I think we just assume everyone else knows what they are doing and that it comes naturally to them...while they are probably thinking the same things we are thinking. LOL

    Baby girl definitely will turn out OK!

  3. You are doing great as a mom. Like people said to me: The fact that you care to wonder about these things tells you that you are doing something right. I was a straight A student too. Things came easily to me as well. But not this. This gig is so so hard. I thought I'd be a natural but you know I struggle too. Every single day.

  4. Girl, we are all just doing the best we can. None of us is perfect. Love your baby girl and that's enough!

  5. It gets easier the more you have... well, maybe not easier, but you stop worrying so much about the little stuff because there's all kinds of other much scarier crap to deal with. lol!