I hope I’m not the only mom who has had a near panic attack because I was terrified that I was ruining my kid.
Because I let him watch more TV than is recommended for a kid his age, which may ruin his imagination and turn his brain to mush. Because I gave them two cookies, which may weaken their immune system and open the door to any number of deadly diseases. Because I can’t find two socks that match and what kind of mother sends her kid somewhere with socks that clash? Because they have had a bath in three days. THREE DAYS. Because I can’t afford to send them to the most expensive and prestigious preschool in town and surely they are doomed to a life of failure. Because sometimes I *accidentally* tell them that they are driving me nuts and that they need to go away. Permanently damaging, I’m sure. Because those two cups of juice are sure to lead to obesity and a lack of green food at lunch time is depriving them of essential nutrients and her crying herself to sleep because I just can’t take it anymore and I’m putting him in Luvs because it’s all I can afford but the chemicals may destroy something important down there and WHAT IF I CAN”T HAVE GRANDCHILDREN BECAUSE OF THESE DAMN DIAPERS?
And on and on and on and on the list goes.
NO ONE TOLD ME THIS WAS GOING TO BE SO COMPLICATED!
Every move, every decision a chance for me to completely ruin my kid for life. And I can’t take the stress anymore.
I used to be a really good mom. I used to follow all of the recommendations and Google every little thing and read all of the websites on attachment parenting and what exact foods my children need at every meal and what developmental milestones we should be hitting each month.
And then I gave up.
Because for every site that I looked at, there were two more saying something different. And because he really, really doesn’t like brussels sprouts no matter what I do to them. And because my kids like to get dirty but sometimes after dinner mommy is so done and I can’t live through bathtime so they just need to go to bed.
I love my kids.
I adore them, actually. They make me laugh and they keep me busy and I love playing hide and seek with them and I love sweet hands touching my face and late night talks and giggles and snorts.
I love being a mom.
I want what’s best for the little people that I’ve been given to take care of. I want them to be healthy and smart and strong and happy.
I want them to be happy.
And having a mom who is about to collapse with worry about whether or not a movie is killing her child is not going to make a happy child.
So here’s what I’ve figured out: I do the best I can and I let things slide.
I trust my gut and then I go with it. And I trust that if the human race has been able to survive this far then my children are probably going to turn out just fine. And then I take a deep breath and drop the guilt and just be present with my babies.
Because what they need more than anything else from me is a mom who is there and a mom who treasures and a mom who knows how to chill out.