Wednesday, October 22, 2008

good enough is best....


At any moment of doubt while raising my first child, I knew to walk straight into the kitchen and head for the refrigerator. It's not was inside that lured me there, but what I had strategically placed on the door. "Why a good enough mum is the best mum" would stare at me after many a moment of frustration and worry. I was consumed with doing everything the "right" way (and please note the quotation marks!)...diapers were cloth, baby food was all homemade, television was never on........I was determined to raise my child how I felt was best for him. Not once did I think about how these choices would make me more tired at times, and thus more emotional and stressed than I would have been if I had just simply opened that jar of pears instead of spending forever steaming, pureeing, freezing and storing all of his food. I felt like a failure if I had to rush out and buy some disposables because I wasn't able to get all the diapers washed and dried in time. It took a friend giving me that article to show me that a good mum should feel proud of herself simply because she's doing the best she can. Several passes by the refrigerator door later, the light bulb finally switched on, and along with it came the realization that in order to be that good mum, it's o.k. and sometimes necessary to be a bit more relaxed when it comes to the way you want to run things in the house. Jump ahead to five years later (o.k, more like yesterday) and I realize I am in need of that article again. After being asked to provide a photo of myself for an upcoming interview about being a stay at home/artist, I started to think about who I have become. Two kids later, I have noticed that anxiety from early motherhood creeping back in. The television is off, the snacks are homemade, and I am getting tired again. I have to remind myself that in order to be a good mum, I have to take care of myself first...if I need to break my "rules" every now and then in order to make sure I can continue raising the boys in the type of environment I have created for them, then that's o.k. Do I feel good when the boys have a stimulating day of nature walks and bread baking? yes....is it o.k. for them to dive into a box of crackers and watch a little show while I take a much needed bath after being up all night dealing with my five year old's asthma?....yes. I am doing what I can, and that ia all I need to do.

oh, did I ever mention that the second child was fed mainly on jar food? (after dealing with four months of colic, there was no steaming/pureeing happening this time) And can you guess which child is the picky one and which child eats everything? Well, I must have been a horrible cook, as the jar fed child is now the one that eats anything I make for dinner....whereas the other one is "slightly" more picky. who would have guessed?)

5 comments:

tangled sky studio said...

i could have written this post a few years back. i have felt many of the same things, used cloth diapers,made baby food etc...with child #1 with pretty similar results. At the end of the day we do have to nurture ourselves or carve out some type of identity other than "mommy" to be full enough to give our little ones what they need...the best mommy we can be. Most of my confusion then clarity on this issue came after #3...

Leililaloo said...

Oh this is such a funny post!!! I can so relate to everything. I feel super quilty for being the type of mum who with child n0.1 buys the disposables and does not cook every day.. I am very consious of the fact that i am less hard on myself then the mothers who do all that you do(did), but i feel super bad as a mom because i don't do all that. Reading your post makes me realize i should be less hard on myself,(much like the moms who do all the right things). I hope it's not to confusing what i am writing here....i have the feeling it is.

Lumpkin said...

I was always the same way with my first daughter. So rigid with myself, but at some point we do get overwhelmed by the insane expectations we have for ourselves. It was nice reading your post. I can truly relate.

kiddlebug said...

I think that this is an extremely common feeling in most Moms. We are our own worst critics. We definitely need to lighten up on ourselves sometimes and realize that we do our best.

sammi said...

it's nice to know we all go through this at some point in time! thanks for all you comments :)