I keep thinking that one day I will wake up and it will be the day. The day I feel like I finally have this parenting thing figured out. The day I finally trust my instinct and my heart. The day I don’t feel like I am doing it all wrong all the time. The day I finally figure out my son’s rhythm and how to do what is best for him.
Today is not the day. I am four years into this parenting gig, and I still feel like this almost every single day. I find myself questioning constantly and wondering what on earth I am doing as a guide for this tiny human when I cannot figure my own stuff out.
As a perfectionist I have always wanted to do things well perfectly. I put an immense amount of pressure on myself. Not because I want to be better or I am comparing myself to someone else – but simply because I feel like I must do my absolute best in everything I set my mind to. It has never had anything to do with others, but with gaining approval within myself. As it turns out, parenting has been no different. From the very moment my first son was born I wanted to do it all and do it all well. I drove myself to mental breakdown as I struggled to balance all the things with no outside help. Something about the burden of raising another human struck me. THIS was now my most important job and everything I am was poured into it. I knew that every decision I made in my parenting would impact this little person – his heart, his mind, his personality and his success in life. Talk about PRESSURE.
I can honestly say, that I have been able to loosen up a little. Mental breakdown will do that to you. It was only when it was completely impossible to do it all that I succumbed to the reality that I am not perfect – and I was never meant to be.
Motherhood was never meant to be done alone. Just look at other cultures – whole tribes raise the children together and extended families live in the same house as one. Somewhere in western culture we formed the idea that independent meant success and we lost the value of community and walking alongside.
Well, here is the truth – I don’t know what I am doing most of the time in motherhood. And if you’re honest, you probably could say the same. So why are we lying to ourselves? What if we stopped and were vulnerable in our struggles? What if as a mama I came to you and said, “help! I don’t know how to handle his sleep challenges” and what if you were able to speak into that for me?
I truly believe we were all created differently – with different skills and strengths and when we share with one another we can fill in the gaps. What you are good at mama, I may suck at, and vise versa. So what if, what if we used our strengths to lift other mamas up? What if my struggle becomes not so big because I have another mama in my corner? And what if I can do the same for you?