In just under one month, you will be turning 3 years old. THREE!!!
You are such a ball of fire—with more attitude, spunk, mischievousness, compassion, and “smarts” than all the other toddlers I know combined (at least it feels that way).
You challenge me daily—with my temper, my self-confidence, my patience, my creativity, and my endurance—but I wouldn’t change a thing (except maybe your appetite).
Right now we are in a comfortable parenting rhythm (despite being in the “terrible twos”), but every now and then, I am struck with that cursed “mom guilt” where I feel like I’m completely failing at motherhood.
Moms, I know you can relate!
Although I’ve come to accept certain things like Bazooka’s size (he will never be on the high end of the growth chart, and that’s ok!), I still feel like it’s my fault when my son’s dinner consists of an orange popsicle and 2 slices of bacon or a bowl of veggie straws.
In times like those, however, I remind myself of something important: parenting is teamwork.
Parenting Is Team Work
(A quick note to all the single moms and single dads out there—this post is in no way meant to critique your parenting! In fact, I am amazed at how you guys do it—you are super heroes and I admire and respect you so much.)
While it may not be my fault that Bazooka behaves a certain way or what have you, it is absolutely true that I have different parenting strengths than my husband.
And it’s essential for me to remind myself of my strengths when I feel the pressure and guilt beginning to suffocate me.
Take for instance, this past Tuesday night.
After work and the gym, I arrived home to find my husband cooking dinner (he’s the best!) and a cranky Bazooka. I was riding the endorphin train and in a wonderful mood, yet I immediately felt guilty.
Guilty that my baby had a stomach ache and I wasn’t there to soothe him.
Guilty that my husband—who always does the cooking—was once again having to “single parent” (for an HOUR) and cook dinner, just so I could sweat for 45 minutes.
Guilty that I wasn’t “supermom” and able to do all the things I wish I could do if I were a SAHM or simply had more time.
After I took a quick shower and tried to cuddle and soothe Bazooka, he pushed me away saying “no, Mommy!” and wanted his daddy.
It warms my heart to see how AMAZING my husband is with Bazooka, and I love that they share such a special bond, but damn, it hurts when your only child doesn’t want you to hug and kiss and take care of him.
Earlier in parenthood, I would have let that negative experience ruin my mood. I would have thought back on all the other “failures” and ruminated them all night, keeping myself awake.
I would have worried uncontrollably and probably would’ve become angry, allowing my anxiety to shake me into a complete mess.
But now, even though those moments and feelings hurt, I know they don’t define my parenting.Focus on your #parenting strengths, not your weaknesses. #motherhood Click To Tweet
I feel the pain and frustration, but then I remind myself of all the other ways I’m a good mommy.
Each morning, I make Bazooka’s and our lunches for school/work.
In the evenings, I usually am “bath master”—and I adore hearing Bazooka laugh and play in the tub.
Every night at bedtime, I manage to get an “I love you” and “goodnight, Mommy” out of my sweet boy.
When the feelings of failure creep in, I think of all the compliments we receive from friends and daycare teachers about what a sweet child we have.
I think of how inquisitive, smart, and articulate my toddler is—and I can’t help but realize we both have had a role in his development.
And I fondly remember all the snuggles and late nights nursing my sweet baby to sleep.
I may not be the one who drives Bazooka to and from daycare or gets all the laughs from tickle wars or cuddles him when his belly aches, but that’s because parenting is teamwork. If I’m not able to do those things, my husband is, and for that I am truly grateful.
We all have strengths, and we all have weaknesses. What matters is that my child is being raised by parents who love and care for him and are doing the best they can.#MomGuilt is tough, but thankfully #parenting is teamwork! Click To Tweet
[linking up with Amanda for thinking out loud]
So tell me…
- Parents, how do you struggle with the mom (or dad) guilt?
- Non-parents, I’m sure you can still relate—how do you deal with comparison and guilt?