To The Mom Who Feels Like She Isn’t Doing Enough
As mamas, we all have bad days. Days in which we question ourselves, our beliefs and our way of parenting. Especially when you do things a bit off the normal path (like not baby gating your daughter) you begin to question if you’re good enough. This letter is to all the mamas struggling.
How’s your day? Have you eaten anything besides whatever your babe didn’t want? Have you been able to go to the bathroom alone yet? I get you. It’s tricky being a mom. Putting all our needs aside so that these little ones can thrive. Some days, I feel like I do SO MUCH and actually accomplish very little. How about you? When was the last time someone asked you how you were feeling.. and actually paid attention to the answer?
I know you feel like you do it all: hold down the house, get the babes fed and ready and to various groups. Cook, clean and more. I know it’s the little things that get you frustrated; that no one else ever seems to make sure the coffee machine is ready for the next morning – but you. That no one else can remember to feed the pets- but you. That somehow all the daily stuff you do is just overlooked. But it takes so much time and effort out of your day. That it’s just one little thing after another that you need to add to your list. I know you feel like your to-do list grows each and every day without feeling like anything has been checked off.
I know these things, because I feel that way too.
I know you worry about your kids. About how they’re developing and if they’re behind. You worry if they should know the alphabet by now and why they don’t. You worry that they watch too much TV and aren’t growing their minds. And then you worry they aren’t having enough screen time to keep up in this technological world.
I know you feel like you should plan daily crafts with your young babe. That you should sit at the table and create. That toddlers need to be stimulated and learn. That you feel you need to stay awake until two am making sensory toys. That you look around your house and think that nothing resembles an ideal Montessori learning environment as it should. You feel guilty that you’re not giving them more, doing more, being more.
I know this, because I feel this way to.
This mom gig is hard. Harder than I could have imagined in my naive state of pregnancy. You question everything you do and even more so every minute of the day. Even though your days are full and busy and hectic you wonder why you couldn’t fit in more, do more, help them grow more.
You feel guilty. You question yourself. You blame yourself.
I hear you mama, I question too.
But here’s what I wish someone would have told me when my babe was four months old and I was in tears coming home from mom and babe swim because another mom already did activities with her five month old. They did mess free painting, she made toys, she went on learning specific outings.. and I did none of those things.
I wish someone would have told me that it’s okay. That sensory toys may be great but before six months old everything is a sensory toy because it’s so new.
I wish someone would have told me that it was okay at eight months old and my babe couldn’t clap. Instead, I worried and fretted and thought of dozens of games that might motivate her to clap. I spent countless hours questioning what could be wrong that she didn’t have control of her arms yet?
And at thirteen months, I wish someone would have told me that it’s okay that your babe isn’t walking. That you haven’t done anything wrong. That it didn’t matter if others were walking before her.
So guess what mama? Here’s your message: it’s okay.
Period. It’s okay to question and to worry a bit but it’s okay not to also.
I’ve learned that questioning means you care. It means that you want to utmost best for your babe. It means you love them more than the day to day tasks that get pushed aside. it means you will try.
It’s okay to worry sometimes too. Because we all just want what’s best for our babes and worrying is natural. If you’re worrying, you care.
But it’s not okay to beat yourself. To question yourself and to judge yourself saying you’re not doing enough.
What we forget amongst all the “developmental timeline milestones” we see is that our precious babes are also their own persons. That they grow and develop differently. That they will do what feels right for them and when. That no chart can tell you you’ve failed.
We forget that babies each have their own interests, be that clapping or climbing or learning words. It’s okay if your babe enjoys something another one doesn’t.
I’m here to tell you that you haven’t failed.
Not one bit. That the way you parent is just perfect for you. Because trying, caring, loving is enough. You are enough. Because the truth of the matter is that you can only do so much in a given day and at the end of it your babe will play with an egg carton over your sensory toy anyways 😉
I want you to remember that your to-do list will never end. That some days all you will accomplish is getting dressed. That much of the time you will feel that you’re just getting by and never ahead. But that’s okay.
Welcome to parenting 🙂
Don’t forget to pin this advice for all the new mamas out there!
Looking for ideas as to what to do with your one year old? Check out this Activity Guide For 14m or Toys My 15m Old Loves