Am I Doing It Right?
Motherhood is a strange old job. Before I had Mads I had no set plan of action. Of course I had vague ideas- Ideally I wanted to breastfeed, I wanted to tell her I loved her every day, I wanted her to have a good routine and I wanted to make sure that I interacted and participated with her so she felt fullfilled, even as a baby.
I thought myself and Mr E had discussed the important things in regards to raising her, we talked long and hard about our childhoods and what little things here and there we felt we missed out on, and decided that we would try our best to give her the best childhood we possibly could. I didn't think it would be easy, but I thought that I would be relaxed and laid back and tackle motherhood in the same way I approach other aspects of my life.
Fast forward fourteen months and my main approach to parenting now is 'Am I doing it right?' I am under no illusion that Mads is a happy and sociable little girl, but often I feel like it isn't what we have done that has made her this way. She has always been an amazing sleeper, sleeping through the night from a very young age, but I don't think this is down to anything we have done, I think she just likes her sleep. She is a good eater but again this isn't really anything we have played a part in, she just likes her food.
I constantly wonder if Mads is developing well.
Is she saying enough words? Oh no she only says a few.
Should she be feeding herself with a spoon? Yikes I have only tried her with it a couple of times.
Some of her friends are in a cot, should she be? Whoops, it hadn't even crossed my mind.
She is starting to have tantrums. At 14 months! Am I doing something wrong?
How should we discipline her when she is older? We haven't discussed this at all yet.
All of these thoughts whizz through my brain until I question myself constantly.
As a parent you constantly want you child to be excelling. Even at fourteen months old. I am hopefully not going to be a pushy parent, but even now if one of her friends is saying more or doing something different developmentally, I do worry that I am not stimulating her enough.
It isn't just that side of things. Another thing that is on my mind is 'when'. When should I put her in a big girls bed? When should she be using a knife and fork? When should she be forming sentences? When should she understand discipline? When should she be potty trained? When, When When, When, When?
Unfortunately when you become a Mum no one gives you a big instruction manual that can be referred to as and when you need it. Sometimes I feel relaxed about it and think it doesn't matter, lets just do things at our own pace. But then sometimes I worry and just ask myself 'Am I doing it right?' It doesn't help that unfortunately there will always be those 'perfect mother' types that are put on the earth to make normal mum's feel bad. 'Oh you didn't do baby led weaning?' 'Summer Winter Blossom has been feeding herself fillet steak with a knife and fork since six months old.' 'Oh you don't use cloth nappies.' 'Gosh you give your child chocolate, Autumn Clover Maybel has never had any sugar at all.' Suddenly when you become a Mum people feel it is ok to make you feel inadequate for your shortcomings.
I guess the fact of the matter is there is no right or wrong way to being a Mummy. They are all so different and they all develop so differently too. If Mads is a few months later than her friends than feeding herself does it really matter in the long run? No not really. I think I need to relax and just look at my gorgeous little girl and think yes I at least did something right...
I made Mads and she is pretty damn perfect.