I recently shared on Instagram how it was easy for me to feel like a failure as a Mom. I was shocked by how much response it generated and how many Mamas felt the same way. I think the combination of constantly navigating new things with the new seasons of our children, figuring out the differences in our baby's personality compared to our own, sleeplessness, a change in finances, and hormones are many factors on the journey of parenthood that can contribute to this feeling. (Not to mention any other like sibling adjustment, moving, lack of family support, etc.)
So today I just have a simple word of encouragement. You're doing great, Mama!
Last night my baby had a really tough night with little sleep. Meaning this Mama (& his dad) had little sleep, too. As I type this my 9-month-old is playing with toys, crawling all over the living room, and eating bread. This means that in a few moments I'll pull out the vacuum and clean up after him for the ?th time this week. (It also means I probably won't give him crumbly food outside his high chair again for awhile!) But, he's exploring, learning, and having fun.
Our lives don't need to look like Pinterest. Our babies don't need perfection. Our children don't need the best or newest fill-in-the blank. They just need us. And the fun memories of shredding bread all over the house or the time mom jumped into the tub with us while wearing her clothes or the special walks in the park are just a bonus.
A friend once told me that after a sleepless night to be extra gentle to myself. Have a second cup of coffee and some chocolate. I laughed and told her that I've been "extra gentle" to myself for 4 months then!
Give yourself grace. And chocolate. You're doing better than you think.
PS, if you're feeling extra overwhelmed, depressed, anxious, or unending sadness, there is no shame in reaching out to talk to your doctor, midwife, or a counselor. Reaching out shows how much you care for yourself and your baby. You are a good mama, and every good mama needs a village.
written by VHS contributor// Amanda Mcneil