I had a reality check yesterday morning. It was preceded by a quite a display of immaturity and frustration that I’m shamed to admit. It was one of those moments where I just lost it – lost my patience, my composure, my focus. After 45 minutes of Elliot screaming at the TOP OF HER LUNGS, I decided to join her – raising my own voice and shedding plenty of tears.
This wasn’t the first reality check I’ve had – the first major one happened when she was four days old. I had to leave her with Ben, then I scattered the contents the diaper bag across the room (now, I did need to reorganize it…but that wasn’t exactly what I had in mind). Why did I lose it like this? I’m not that person. I also can admit that I’ve had many crying fits since then as well. I can attribute some of it to sleep deprivation and some typical postpartum anxiety, but I think most of my issues come from this intense pressure I put on myself.
I had these dreams of being the perfect mom. Somehow, I was stupid enough to think all you needed was the right book, a little patience, and some perspective to realize these would be the best days of my life.
Here comes the reality check again – I’m not perfect. And this is hard. I know this isn’t directly about married life, but this is real and it’s part of my life right now. So…
Dear new mom,
You won’t be perfect. But you are the perfect mom for your children. Quit thinking you’re never going to mess up. You will..over and over. And give yourself grace. You’re tired, worn out, and you will let them down. But you will figure it out and learn from each mistake. And they will thrive as they watch you learn and derive your strength from the Lord. That’s the biggest lesson I want to teach them anyway.
You don’t need to put pressure on yourself. I am overwhelmed by all of the advice, books, and parenting plans. Do we follow Babywise? The Sleep Lady? Make it up? I constantly research to decide what we need to do. And what about discipline? Love and Logic? Growing Kids God’s Way? Entrusted with a Child’s Heart? I’m not sure I can handle all of the information. Here’s the best advice I’ve received so far:
There is no perfect way. You know why there are tons of books about this? Because no one has truly figured it out what works each time for each kid.
Do what speaks to you.
You’ll figure it out. People with far less information and common sense have done this. Seriously. You got this.
You will have a messy home. Some afternoons, what my heart needs the most is to ignore responsibility, sit and cuddle, and get nothing done. And fill the memory on my iPhone once again with photos. You will have those days too. So do it.
And when the reality checks come, give yourself grace. And use them as learning experiences for you and time to model Godly character for your kids.
Remember, God brought them into your life for a reason.