- If my kids don't develop perfectly on schedule according to a consensus of childcare books and what the Internet says, then obviously I'm failing as a mother. Even if my pediatrician tells me otherwise. And says the Internet is wrong.
- I don't record every waking moment of their lives. I read some blogs where moms write down everything. And I mean, everything. I get exhausted just reading the blog posts, so I have no idea how these moms do it.
- I don't have my kids (namely, Will) involved in 800 community and kid's events and programs. I don't even have him in 1 program. Because, honestly, I live in a crappy community, I don't know anyone here, and oh yeah, I have a 3-month-old that I'd have to drag along. But these facts don't assuage my guilt.
- My children live far away from their grandparents, aunts and uncles, and cousins. And even though we're trying desperately to change this situation, I still feel worse than pond scum when we drive away from Indiana after a visit. Like I'm somehow in control of the situation! But this doesn't make me feel better.
- I feel bad about letting Will watch "too much" TV (what is that, anyway?). I feel bad about feeding Lucy formula. I feel bad if we don't get outside every day. I feel bad if I spend "too much" time with Lucy and "not enough" with Will. If I'm spending time exclusively with one child, then that means one child is getting the shaft (if that child happens to be awake). And this makes me crazy with guilt.
- If Will finds a crumb on the floor and puts it in his mouth, then I have obviously failed to provide a clean environment for my child. If Will stumbles on something or pinches his finger in something, then I have obviously failed to provide a safe environment for my child.
I was semi-joking with Marty and Jessie last night over dinner when I told them that, sometimes, Will looks at me like, "I'm on to you, Mom. You've never done this before, have you?" And I just want to crumple up and shout "YES! It's true, I'm a complete novice! I don't know what the heck I'm doing! I'm just trying to survive here! And keep you guys safe and clean and fed, and I can't manage anything beyond that most days!!!"
Clearly, I need to loosen up myself. I know this. I envy those moms who seem to roll with each skinned knee and tantrum and poopy blowout. I'm not there yet. And to help get me there, I've decided to take a bit of a hiatus from blog-reading and Internet searches on child development and just all the other things that drive me crazy with feelings of inadequacy. I'm even thinking of taking a break from Facebook (too addicted) and email (too neglected anyway). I need to hunker down and really find some new focus, and learn to allow myself to be the mom that I want to be, not the mom that I feel I should be in comparison to others. And give myself a break! I had 2 babies in less than 13 months, so I think I deserve it!!!
I've promised to write so many posts here and I still intend to write those posts. And I've promised myself to get caught up in a zillion other areas. And I will. But it's time to take a deep breath. Life has been a whirlwind and I need to stand still, get my bearings, and forge a clear path ahead, unhampered by outrageous expectations of myself. Wish me luck! (And if you'd like, come pour me a drink and share a confession or two of your own!)