When my oldest daughter was just a new born baby, I was a first time mom mess. I poured over baby development books, researched feeding, diapering, educational music and child safety on the internet.
I was worried that she wasn’t eating enough. That she wasn’t sleeping enough, or too much. I wanted to know why she was crying all…the…time. I looked for answers in those books, websites and to other mothers.
I asked, “Is this normal?”
I continued to be one big pinned up ball of new mom nerves, all the while praying nobody found out I wasn’t “normal”. Or, found out my baby wasn’t either. I even dreaded the baby doctor visits because she might label us “not normal”.
I was a first time mom hot mess. That was until one day when my hubby got into a big fat fight with a been-there-done-that-mom-of-four. They fought over feeding our child peanut butter. It got ugly over peanut butter!
I learned a very valuable lesson that day. No matter what the parenting books, other parents, or your mother says…
There is more than one normal.
Parenting is different for everyone. And parenting doesn’t always go by the books, or a set calendar, or like a perfectly curved line on a development chart. Not only does every mother parent differently, but what works for one mom may not work for you.
THE UGLY TRUTH: As a mother I will feel inadequate when it comes to the business of raising my children…no matter how many books I read on the subject. It’s normal.
I will second guess my discipline decisions. How would other parents handle this situation? Am I being too hard on my kids? It’s normal.
There will be days when my kids drive me to drink. Ladies, I am not talking about Kool-Aid either. It’s normal.
My baby has cried all hours of the night for three hours straight while by best friend’s baby slept through the night at three months. I was jealous. It’s normal.
I will feed my child peanut butter when one mom says I shouldn’t. In fact, other moms will judge me for my parenting choices. It’s normal.
I will clean my kids room and find food, candy wrappers, popcorn kernels, and forks under their beds. Never have I found money. It’s normal.
I will lay awake at night, worrying about what she is worrying about. I have carried my daughter, kicking and screaming at the top of her lungs, out of Target, leaving a full shopping cart behind. I have been tempted to tie up the mean girl at school who was cruel to my sweet girl. But actually haven’t done it, yet. It’s normal.
My children will test the boundaries with cheating and telling lies. I have uttered the words, “Don’t lick the dog!” My kids have, and will again, yell, “I hate you!” I will make mistakes along the way. There will be days when I think “I can’t do this.” It’s normal.
HERE’S ANOTHER TRUTH: It’s going to be okay.
This stage won’t last forever. Oh, no! These crafty kids of mine have a few more tests up their sleeves.
So, when the going gets rough, repeat after me…
It’s going to be okay because it’s normal.
(Repeat as many times as needed.)
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LINKING UP | Head over to Holley Gerth’s Coffee for Your Heart link up. Read some amazing words by amazing women to refresh your soul. Holley also has a book coming out entitled You’re Going to be Okay: Encouraging words your heart needs to hear, especially on the hard days.