I’ll be honest, I thought I would be a great mom. I thought there would be no television, all healthy home-made food, I would have great ideas to do something new every day and my child would snuggle with me and call me mama. I don’t think I judged others harshly, I suppose, but I thought “I will be different, I can do it”. And then my son was born. It was not the birth I thought I would have. There was no music, no intense labor, no connection. I had a c-section due to a pretty painful back injury I had sustained early in the pregnancy. I didn’t see my son for several minutes, I held him for such a brief amount of time. I was wheeled to the recovery room without my son and waited 2 hours for him to join me. I couldn’t breastfeed as I wanted, as my milk never fully came in (despite tons of herbal supplements and medications).
Before I even left the hospital, I judged myself a bad mom.
Then, kiddo had colic. Holy mackerel. Who knew a baby could cry so much?! How did his voice not get hoarse?! And where did he get those lungs?! For 3 and a half months, kiddo cried. He wouldn’t take a pacifier and only snuggled to breastfeed. I, again, judged myself a bad mom.
I chose to return to work part time as well as open my private practice. My supply dwindled to nothing and by 6 months, kiddo was fully fed by formula. And I judged myself a bad mom.
Everything I thought I would do, I couldn’t. I wanted so badly to be the mom who had playdates every week, who talked to my kid constantly and who tried to teach him something new every day by taking him to museums, story times and zoos. And I failed. I couldn’t do it. Who knew it would take an hour to load a kid and an hour to unload? Who knew I would run out of things to say? And who knew how much it cost just the adult to gain admission to something every day- not including meals and gas.
It was a mix of independent baby and trying-to-stay-sane momma. And you know what? Jasper is happy, healthy and beautiful. He loves to laugh and sing, he crawls to me and gives me books to read to him. He smiles when he sees me and allows brief (very brief) hugs, before he’s off and moving on to something else. I look at his face and see his dad and his dad’s dad. I watch him as he acts just like me. And I think, “I must be doing good, because look at him. He’s awesome.”
I still have days I judge myself, but I think I have found the happy medium into what makes our family work. I’m not a great mom, laundry is in the dryer and there are dishes in the sink. There are baby jars of food on the counter and Jasper doesn’t snuggle with me unless he’s sick. But you know what? I’m okay with that because the proof is in the pudding. My kiddo is a great kiddo, so I must be doing something right.