Part of being a mom is messing up, and that’s okay. In fact, it’s way better than okay.
I’ve done so many things wrong.
The time I took him out of the car and looked down and saw that his seat wasn’t even buckled in. I thought, so irresponsible, how could I let that happen?
The time I had him in the baby carrier while cooking and hot oil splattered up so close to his face and I thought, what are you doing having him so close to the stove?
The time I sat him up on the floor because I wanted to snap a cute photo, but he fell backwards before I could catch him and he hit his head hard on the ground. I thought, that was so selfish and careless.
The time he just wouldn’t sleep no matter what I did. Nurse him, change him, rock him, on repeat for hours, and no luck. I was so exhausted by it that I finally gave up, turned the lights on, and saw he had a big hair across his eye. I got it out and he instantly fell asleep. He must have been so uncomfortable. I thought, I should have known, I should have checked.
The time he was crying at the top of his lungs for a long car ride, and I couldn’t figure out why. I finally realized I’d adjusted the seat straps and they were too tight for him. And I balled my eyes out at the thought of him being in pain and not having the words to tell me what was wrong. And that his pain was because of something I did. I thought, how could I have missed that, why didn’t I think of it earlier?
The time he burst into screaming cries out of nowhere. It was a pained or scared cry, inconsolable, and it broke me that I couldn’t make it better. The feeling of helplessness was so hard to sit with. I thought, did I cause it, is there something I’m missing?
Mamas – all you can do is try your best.
You’re going to do things wrong.
You’re going to miss things.
You’re going to be frustrated that you don’t have the answers.
You’re going to try dozens of things that aren’t going to work as you intended.
Be kind to yourself. Be gentle. Accept the truth that no mom ever, in the history of ever, has done a perfect job…ever! They have all messed up countless times.
And when you’re caring for tiny humans who have no words to voice their needs to you, yet somehow you’re meeting all those needs almost all the time…that’s pretty amazing, isn’t it?
The cliché rings true…you live and you learn. You get to know your little ones more, and even before they have the words they’re somehow able to communicate with you and you’re able to understand them more.
Your intuition gets better.
You get more confident in your own capabilities.
You get more comfortable making mistakes.
And once you start realizing all the things you’re doing right, all the things you aren’t messing up…?
Holy smokes, you’re a freaking superstar.