these last two days have been fairly revelatory as to some of my perfection issues. she’s sleeping better, but i’m having a hard time right now. seeing her cry because of gas pain, or just being uncomfortable makes me feel like a bad mother. i know that there’s no way i can take all her aches and pains away, and it’s silly for me to get so upset about it. last night, i was holding her, and she looked so sad i wanted to cry. actually i did cry a little, because i felt like i was failing at this motherhood thing. i know this is common for the firstborns too, parents wanting everything to be perfect, and for their child to never feel pain or discomfort. not that i won’t do everything in my power to help her with her gas issues… but i think this need to be a perfect mother has got to be dealt with. spencer reminded me that one day, she’ll be five, she might have a headcold, and that the only thing i can do is make sure she gets some rest, gets snuggled and cared for, and that we make sure she doesn’t get sicker. i can’t make the cold go away, just like i can’t physically make her gas go away.
somehow in my mind, i linked being a successful and good mother with having children that never hurt, or get grouchy, or anything negative. and it’s a dim view of parenting that i have, if that’s all i have to shoot for. i think my mom probably dealt with this too, just based on some of our interactions while i was growing up. and i guess i want to nip this in the bud, before i end up having a 20 year old who can’t get out of bed on time, because i made life so comfortable and easy. like how i was at 20. i don’t want this to come across like i’m badmouthing mom, but i’m beginning to understand the motivation behind making things easy all the time.
i know that zoë turning 20 is a long way off, but i’m wondering how my decisions in the future will be affected by this need to be a perfect mom with perfect kids, if i don’t address it now. not that i don’t want to give zoë all the love and attention and nurturing she needs. far from it! i want to give her all those things, but i want it to be done out of genuine love for her, love that sets boundaries and says “no” and still is motivated out of love. not the need to have a perfect child, or feel like a good mother because my child gets straight a’s or is on the soccer team, etc etc.
i know this is a rambling post… i’m only just beginning to learn about motherhood, and i don’t want an incorrect perception of success to enter my heart so early in the game. what a journey ahead for all of us. and i know we’ll all be changed.