By: Emily Levenson
If I had to describe myself as a mother, it would be a laid back and loving mama who is all about sticking to the routine.
Fear and worry typically don't take residence anywhere in there. Unless, of course, we're talking about nap time and whether or not The Dog is going to wake up The Babe. Because that kind of fear makes me want to throw up on a daily basis.
All joking aside, there is one thing that gets me in the pit of my stomach and has the power to keep me up at night: the feeling that I am somehow failing my child.
Failing her because I ...
- get angry and yell.
- don't encourage her enough when it comes to trying new foods.
- am allowing her to eat a thousand squeeze packs a day.
- am focused on my own work and interests.
- need a break.
- feel like I don't play with her enough, engage with her enough, or take her to enough places to pique her curiosity.
- forget to make her brush her teeth.
- hold her too much.
- don't let others step in and help.
- let her watch television every single day.
- let her cry it out.
- can't take the crying and pick her up again anyway.
- am not consistent with what I say and what I do.
There are a thousand and one more things I could add to the list, but I'm fairly certain you get the point.
The worst part about it? I full on know it looks like the most ridiculous list on the planet when I put it down on paper. Rationally, I know that those things aren't life or death (well, most of them anyway). But my emotional response is on par with being chased down by a hungry tiger.
How do I quell the fear and remind myself that I'm doing the best I can with what I know?
- Talking with other moms helps.
- As does meditation.
- Writing and blogging are incredibly therapeutic.
- Walks make everything seem brighter.
- And when all else fails, wine and chocolate do the trick.
Being a parent is hard. The emotional stress of keeping another human alive and safe is downright exhausting. The ideal version of who I want to be as parent versus the reality of who I am showing up as in the moment can be disappointing and wracked with guilt.
And yet, none of that matters — the fear, the guilt, the stress — if my child knows without a shadow of a doubt that she is loved, unconditionally.
Because she is.
Emily Levenson is a Therapist turned Crafter turned Blogger, Baby-Wrangler, Meditation Encourager, Pittsburgh Enthusiast, and Propelle Co-Pilot. You can find her blogging about it all on harvest-bloom.com. On Instagram? Emily is there too.