September 16, 2013

Revolution on a Friday

“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.

8 kind comments from you:

Jen said...

Oh that first picture is priceless!

Erinn C.D. said...

I love "God did not give me my children to guilt me"

When you were tweeting about how you were having a bad time multitasking, I wanted to say something like this about how you shouldn't feel so guilty about things like that. I'm not a parent though so I'm not sure how much what I think about it matters. But, I think it's hard and I think you won't be good at it everyday. I don't think that matters though as long as your kids love you for good reasons and they are healthy.

Sarah Shaffer said...

This is a gorgeous post, and such an exciting revolution for you!

Marcella{The Life After "Trust Me"} said...

If I compared myself to other moms I'd go crazy. My kids aren't perfect, they don't always eat the healthiest meals, but the best thing I can do for them is to be the best me.
Thank you for this Erika!

greaterexp said...

This was a most perfect post.

Mrs.B said...

I needed this. Such great words.

Cat said...

"Behind every great kid is a mom who thinks she's screwing it up."

We do our best, and the best thing we can do is what we think is right for our own family. Personally, I'm terrible at a lot of "mom" things, but I have a lot less stress about it since I just drop the issue since I know it's not my cup of tea.

(Also, Cora was reading over my shoulder and loved the pics of your babies!)

Fran said...

Comparison is the thief of joy, son. You're the best mama Millie and Walter could ever have.

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