I've already said that I'm skipping the whole New Year's Resolution this year, but I still have high hopes and many goals to accomplish in 2013. Some of these goals will come to fruition mostly on their own, and some will take work and I know many more will take shape as the days, weeks and months come along. Even though I have no idea what lies in store for F and I, I know that after 2012 he and I can take on just about anything.
Like F turning three, for example. It seems like it was only yesterday that I was laying in the maternity ward of the hospital, flipping through my What to Expect When You're Expecting book and wondering what the Hell I was about to get myself into. The book prepared me for a lot of things, but there were many more "surprises" I was totally unprepared for. I'm not sure if anyone or anything could have prepared me for the sense that I'm never going to be good enough as a Mom.
I know I'm not alone in this. Mommy guilt takes over our lives before we've even given birth. It's the matter of whether or not we followed a certain diet and exercise plan while we were pregnant, if we had an all-natural, drug-free labour or a Caesarian, to the decision (or necessity) of formula vs. breastfeeding. It only gets worse as time goes on, from the music we play for our children, whether they co-sleep (GUILTY!) and what we feed them.
I'm sure there's a large community of mothers who would say I'm an awful Mom and I'm equally sure that there's a large community of mothers who would say that I'm a great Mom. Meanwhile, I'm on the fence.
I breastfed F until he was 18 months old and would have continued to do so only that he lost interest, but I supplemented with formula for eight months because it was too hard to pump while I was in class. I fed him the baby food from the supermarket because he didn't care much for my homemade variety, and quite frankly, a lot of the time I didn't feel up to making it for him. He slept with me from the get-go, and continues to enjoy sleeping in Mommy's bed. He stays up too late, sleeps in and eats junk food every once and a while. Sometimes, to avoid a fight, I'll even let him go to bed without brushing his teeth.
But he's happy and he's loved.
If I don't accomplish anything else in 2013, I want to overcome the feeling that I'm never getting it right. I don't have time to listen to that nagging voice in my head any more. I'm tired of comparing F and I to the mother and child pairs we see at the grocery store or the park. It's useless, and the truth is that she's probably thinking the exact same thing.