“There are no rules here -- we're trying to accomplish something.”
It has been nearly three months since Walter's first cry. Three months since the moment someone in that dim and busy delivery room announced, "It's a boy!", and I looked at my son in disbelieving surprise and amazement. Having him in my life has been the most completing, blinding joy. He's calm and he's sweet, doubtless soothing me more than I soothe him during those snuggles that come with the first rays of sun.
Yet through all that, there have been daily struggles to adapt to life with two. I've shut the door to the bathroom, inhaled shaking breaths, and wondered why it feels so hard sometimes. Because if it is this hard, it must be because I'm not doing it right. The constant theme in my heart has been guilt. Failure. Carrying that weight with me day after day is exhausting.
And it hit me like a ton of bricks at 8:29am last Friday morning: God did not give me my children to guilt me.
To teach me, strengthen me, and mold me into someone better than the days they were born? Absolutely. But they are supposed to be a blessing. They are a blessing. And I'm taking that blessing and turning it into worry. Into doubt. Into an overwhelming mountain to climb instead of a beautiful plain made for looking up at the clouds and feeling breezes flutter through my hair. Maybe it's a normal mama thing to do. Does it enrich their life or mine to put more effort into self condemnation than enjoying my babies? No. I don't get bonus points doing it all with grim duty instead of grace.
I am not the best mother in the world, and I'm not the worst mother either. Most of the time, I see evidence in how mothers are alike in so many ways. But we're not carbon copies. Trying to compare myself to everyone else just doesn't make sense, because they aren't parents to Millie and Walter. This mix of personalities and temperaments and likes and wants and needs is unique to our home. So, then, should the way I parent them be unique. More than anything, though, it should be with an all encompassing sense of bliss and not with the fear and dread of doing it all wrong.
I know I'll need reminded of this every other minute for the rest of my days. I know there will be days when the uncertainty haunts me until I can remember this again. But for the life of me, I'm going to try to remember it. However small the thought, it's a revolution for this mama.