Friday, December 12, 2014

     Am I enough?

Just this morning while sitting my little one down for breakfast, I had a moment where I lost control. As soon as my little one sat in his highchair, he smashed his whole banana and threw his toast. He wouldn’t take a bite of anything. He proceeded to throw, clamp his mouth shut, and cry. I met his mini-meltdown head-on; trying to shove bites in his mouth and telling him to STOP. I got so frustrated that I cursed under my breath and flicked my fingers in the air, as if I were going to flick him on his grimy little hands. Looking back on it, who was more mature? Probably him, since his actions were developmentally appropriate. I, on the other hand, was being very immature. 

A few months back, my little one was riding in the stroller while we were out shopping. I had been stopped at the register chatting with a friend. I pushed the stroller forward and it was stuck. I pushed again. As I leaned around to see if something was in front of us, a woman says, “Your baby is on the ground.” What?!?! I saw him immediately, wedged under the front of the stroller looking up at me. I was humiliated and confused. He was unharmed; he had done some Houdini trick to get out of the harness and slide under the snack tray. 

Sometimes, moments best us and we are left feeling like we should be nominated for Worst Mommy Award. 

If you were judging my parenting by those two moments, you would say I was lacking in some way; you may say that I wasn’t a good mommy. What you don’t see, from these two mommy failures, is the many moments where I do everything I can to meet my little one’s needs. If I allowed myself to wallow in all of my little failures, I would believe I’m not good enough to be his mommy. The truth is that I am not perfect. You are not perfect. Sometimes, moments best us and we are left feeling like we should be nominated for Worst Mommy Award.  Wait! Is that actually a thing? As moms, we feel like it is. We feel as if every other mom is watching…and judging. 

Some of us feel like there is a secret mommy competition, in which we are surely falling behind. More importantly, we wonder if we are enough for our children. No matter what stage of mothering we are in, we wonder. 

we wonder if we are enough for our children . . .

But, what does it really mean…to be enough? 

Meeting your infant’s basic needs with support from family and friends; Deciding that sometimes babies cry and you need a few minutes to recover your sanity before returning to him; Answering all of your infant’s cries yourself. 

Exclusively breastfeeding; Supplementing with formula. Nursing through toddlerhood. 

Having all of the most expensive baby gear; Using second-hand baby gear; Getting reasonably priced necessities. 

Staying home full-time; Providing for your family financially, however that looks; 

Sending your kids to the best schools; Sending your kids to the local elementary school; Homeschooling. 

The list could go on indefinitely. 

Parenting is an infinite number of decisions in which you choose what is best for your family. 

Despite all of the books and free advice available, no one can answer these questions for you. As the mommy, you are the only one who knows your heart. I can tell you exactly how I parent, though obviously imperfect at times, but that may not work for your family. 

     You know your own heart.

Though specific decisions are rarely one size fits all, I’d like to offer a piece of advice that I see as universal:  Parent on instincts, despite what is popular. 

All of your friends may talk about the benefits of the cry-it-out method of sleep training; you can’t bear to hear your little one cry. 

Your instinct is telling you to respond to your baby’s needs. 

Do it.

By Lindsy Hughes-Curtis
Seasons Within Blogger

Lindsy Hughes-Curtis is a Village Photographer with our group and is co-owner of Jo Rae Mi Photography, specializing in family, children, newborn, and birth.

Mother to two boys, and a "retired" Special Education teacher, Lindsy is also a perpetual student with a predilection for tying up cattle.  She loves Dr. Pepper, donuts, and daisies.