I’ll Never Be a Super-Mom
Super-Mom. Someone I’d thought I’d be, but then she was born.
My daughter was born in February of 2014. My first born. My little girl. My heart. I remember seeing her for the first time and I felt nothing but joy. I didn’t cry like I expected to, I laughed and excitedly said “She has my nose!” I held her and just admired, I did a lot of thinking, too. What will she be like? Will she be a spunky little tom boy like her Mommy? Or will she be soft spoken and slow to anger like her Daddy? Will she always have my nose? Gosh…I really hope she keeps my nose. Will she be able to sing like her Grandma? Or will she like to play instruments like her Grandpa? I really hope you don’t like to play soccer, Lanie. I don’t like soccer. But, if you do I’ll be there to cheer you on.
It was easy to imagine and think so clearly when you are alone in a hospital room, holding something so angelic. It was so wonderful to just lay there and imagine all that she was going to be…But, then I began to wonder. What kind of mother was I going to be? She is so perfect, so precious and so innocent. What if I messed up? What if there is a time in her life where I fail her when she needs me the most? What if I’m not strong enough to handle the criticism of my parenting style from others? What if I’m not the Super-Mom I pictured in my head that I was going to be?
I brought her home and I never imagined how hard raising a child would be. Her first few weeks were a breeze. I got this. At least I thought I did. When she turned 6 weeks old, the colic set in. She cried every night for eight weeks beginning at 1 a.m. and if I was lucky, it would stop by 6 a.m. She made sure to be generous though, she always gave me two five minute breaks somewhere in between. I felt so helpless. Why can’t I get her to stop crying? What am I doing wrong? I can’t call anyone and tell them what’s going on, they will wonder the same things. Are my maternal instincts kicking in? Where’s the on switch? I’m losing my mind. What would Super-Mom do?
After the horrifying eight weeks, it got better. I was becoming more confident in my ability to raise a tiny human being…But why was there still doubt? Why did I still have questions? When I was pregnant I had it all figured out. (Don’t we all?) I imagined I would put her to bed every night at 8:30 p.m. and I would wake her up at 3 a.m. for a bottle and then she would be up for the day at 8. I imagined she would love her vegetables. She was going to be so healthy and not eat any of that processed junk. I’ll make my own baby food!
…I wish it were that easy, but it’s not. And that’s okay. What is easy, though, is to imagine your life as a new Mom when you see so many people talking about how wonderful it is. Don’t get me wrong, the feeling you get seeing your child smile is wonderful. When you witness them take their first steps, it’s wonderful. There are so many beautiful moments, it without a doubt is worth every second of every struggle. Being a Mom is hard, exhausting and far from glamorous. It’s easy to log on to Facebook and see other Mom post about how parenting is such a breeze and they are doing everything right…don’t buy into it. Don’t be critical of yourself if things don’t go like you had pictured…I know I was.
She’s almost two years old now and I have learned that I will never be a Super-Mom. I have my moments where I just want to scream. She fights me every night about bed time and sometimes I can’t get her down until midnight. I have to bribe her to eat dinner and sometimes her dinner is a bowl of cereal and fruit snacks. All she wants to drink is apple juice. I never thought I’d struggle with getting my two-year-old to drink water. No one mentioned that!
I probably don’t give her enough vegetables. I probably could be a little more stern and I could probably not cave into her fruit snack addiction as often as I do. I could probably work harder to give her a better sleeping schedule and I could probably not buy apple juice anymore. I could probably do a lot of things to make me a better Mother on paper. Fortunately for me and my sanity, I realized I was going to mess up and make questionable decisions in other people’s eyes. There was always going to be something I could do better. I’m fine with knowing that, because I do know one thing I do perfectly and that is this:
I am perfect at loving her.
I don’t have a cape. I never will. But, what I do have is, a blue eyed, curly headed little girl who looks at me and sees her hero…and what she sees is all that matters.