"THE DETAILS ARE NOT THE DETAILS. THEY MAKE THE DESIGN." — CHARLES EAMES
Happy Tuesday, m' dears! I'm currently on the phone with customer service. I placed an online order earlier this month and the purchase never arrived. So while I attempt to make the most of nap time and check ALLLLLL the to-dos off m' list (including today's blog post), I can't help but feel a bit down and I promise it's not the awful music that Macy's opts to play when you're placed on hold for over 20 minutes. Instead, I can't help but think of something a fellow mom said to me recently. I'm sure she never meant any harm by her comment, but for some reason or another a smidgen of guilt has set in as I let her words marinate.
You see, this mom friend and I spoke awhile back about time management and "doing it all," when she quipped that she wished she could be more like me and take some time for herself. It was my instinct to cheer her on and encourage her to make time for herself because I believe it's necessary to keep any person sane — especially moms. But the closer we get to Max's 2nd birthday, the more I find myself comparing him to other kids (which I know I'm not supposed to do) and worrying about whether or not I'm fulfilling the role as his mom to my utmost. I see other kids speaking in full sentences with a flourishing vocabulary and suddenly a boat-load of guilt sets in. My kid knows about 20 words and half of those could be lumped into something that sounds like dog or truck. Sigh. If that's not bad enough, we'll be hanging out with friends and our kid is the human wrecking ball going ham with a balloon, handing out aggressive hugs (in a very Buddy the Elf fashion, mind you), and chucking blueberries in the middle of Grace.
It all can feel so overwhelming once you begin to stack yourself up against someone else. When they say that comparison is the thief of joy, they're not kidding! Most days I feel really proud of the person I've become since Max came into my life and I go to bed knowing that I gave this child everything I've got, but I have noticed that self-doubt can rear its ugly head the more this introvert socializes with other moms and their kids. I hate that I feel that way, but it's the truth. What starts out as an innocent conversation intended to connect with another mom on a very genuine level or glean tips from the pros often leads to an unhealthy amount of insecurity on my end. I know that no one can make you feel inferior but yourself, but maybe I'm being too honest? After an especially eventful weekend jam-packed with some really fun activities, I found myself coming home each evening consumed with this fear that I'm not doing enough as a mother. Maybe I spend too much time focusing on MY needs (cleaning, blogging, self-maintenance, etc.) and that's why Max doesn't know 60 words yet?? Perhaps those other moms selflessly give their kid(s) more than I do? Or maybe the fact that I don't take Max to a regular playgroup is the reason he's not as well-behaved as the other kids? Is making time for myself selfish? Clearly I need to do more. Clearly I need to give more. Why am I not doing enough?
I know it's our instinct as women to constantly feel as though we're falling short in some capacity, but being a mom takes that to a whole new level. Just when I feel the slightest bit of confidence in my role as Max's mother, those feelings are usually undercut by some wellness questionnaire, snarky comment, parenting blog, etc. There's probably a good reason that I've spent the past two years diving into motherhood with a "you do you" kind of tunnel vision. It might not be the right approach for everyone, but it sure comes in handy the moment you begin to question your efforts. Just like most new parents, I have no clue what I'm doing, but tomorrow is a new day and we're all just trying to give our best. I know I can shake off the mom guilt by the time I wake up in the morning, and you can bet I'll continue to encourage Max's vocabulary with lots of conversation and reading, in addition to constant reminders that he be gentle and kind—because our human exclamation point could REEEEEEEEEEALLY use some help in that arena.
As always, thanks for showing up and allowing me to share. Now how about you?