No one sets out to rack up mom fails. We all begin motherhood with all of these ideas of what kind of mother we’ll be. We say, I’ll be attentive without hovering, creative and kind, infinitely patient and I’ll set strict bedtimes and limit sweets…all that good stuff.
Then you have a baby and have to, well, adjust to reality. I’m pretty sure my second baby was sucking on lollipops before he even started solid food.
Motherhood sure teaches us to let go of control, doesn’t it? From literally day one for me, our planned home birth turned into an emergency hospital transfer. Although I got the natural birth and healthy baby I wanted, I counted that as the first of many mom fails.
His fast and furious birth left me with a longer than usual recovery period and the inability to sit up unassisted. Our bedside bassinet was hardly used. The only way we got any sleep was for me to nurse in bed which led to a long stint as a sleep sharing mom, something I swore I’d never do. Fail again.
I have a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and I married a man who, along with his five siblings, was home schooled through high school (and all went on to earn college degrees). It was understood that I would home school our kids…up until my husband’s older sister tried it and quickly gave it up. I realized I wanted to be their mom, not their teacher, and lacked the time, discipline and organization to home school effectively. My kids are just completing 5th and 2nd grades at our neighborhood public school. Another fail.
I could list a slew of other mom fails, large and small, from my kids’ eating habits to the infrequency of family vacations.
What are these fails, really? Expectations that don’t meet reality.
I am simply not cut out to home school, not with our lifestyle and my personality. The sleep sharing turned out to be a blessing and we sleep shared intentionally from the beginning with our second, and for longer (and plan to again with our third on the way). And somewhat ironically, in hindsight, I could have done a successful home birth with our second son.
We don’t eat as healthily as I thought we would. Bedtime is a constantly moving target. Completing chores is a daily struggle, for the kids and adults (I hate housework). To be honest, I run a loose ship.
And there’s a long list of wins, too. Not the least of which was far exceeding my breast feeding goals, due at least in part to the sleep sharing. Our boys are, to hear others tell it, much more articulate and have bigger vocabularies than is normal for their age. I like to think the co-sleeping contributed to that, too. They both enjoy school and are excellent students. They’re only a year away from earning black belts in karate…and the list could go on.
We have a lot going for us. And we’re all happy and healthy. Things haven’t all turned out how I envisioned but in a lot of ways, it’s better. And I’m one of the saner moms I know. So I guess you could say we’re winning at what matters.