When I first mothered my young children I was fairly strict. My kids had structure, nutrition, consistency, and …a bit too much exposure to a mother with a perfection complex.
Then came The Time of Pregnancies.
My children were fairly young when I became pregnant with their next younger brother. This meant that they still needed things like that structure and nutrition and consistency. In actual practice (known as Survival Mode), they got the best I could do at the time. Between exhaustion and nausea, we all rode out the nine-ish months together.
Also as I first mothered, I felt a lot of guilt for the perceived neglect. Helpful people occasionally patting me on the back didn’t assuage the negative voices in my head. The few hints some said sunk deep into a pond of self-recrimination. Obvious acting out and emotional reactivity amongst my offspring also concerned me.
The lesson I’ve finally learned, that I wish I could convince my anxious past self of, is:
Do the best you can, and know that it’s okay to do so.
Despite what you think you see other people doing around you, everyone follows this advice. If not, they’re probably on something illegal and will suffer the consequences of that eventually anyway.
For real: life has ups and downs for all. Some downs require buckling in until the ups. Don’t be so hard on yourself for needing to back off a bit when the going gets tough; it’s the human thing to do.
©2019 Chelsea Owens