So, of course, it is absolutely true what they say, being a Mother is the hardest job on the planet. The emotions, the sleep deprivation, the weightiness and responsibility of teaching a young, beautiful mind... The confusion and self-doubt that comes along with parenting. The heart palpitations and absolute fear that overcomes you when you see or hear your child get hurt... And the criticism and judgment you get, directly or indirectly, from strangers, friends, family, etc. It seems everything - the pregnancy, the birth, breastfeeding, your baby's sleep patterns and eating habits - it's all fair game for this strange competitive sport of being a Mom. But guess who isn't keeping score behind your back, the little one who melts in your arms when she wakes up from her nap or clings to your neck because he doesn't want you to put him down.
I am so incredibly proud of Amara. I am proud of who she is and what she does. I want to brag to everyone about the things she can do, what she eats, how she listens and how she speaks. And I do brag, to Brad, and my Grandmother:) While it is every parent's right and natural instinct to be proud of their amazing child (what parent doesn't think their kid is the most incredible thing?!), I think it's important to be sensitive to other Moms too. Exercise restraint, good judgement, wisdom even. I think it's generally safe to assume that for every positive thing you say about your kid, what the other Mom is hearing is a negative comparison to her own kid(s) and a judgment on her parenting. I know that is not (usually) the intention of the proud parent; it happens because every Mom is so sensitive about her own child and a little insecure about how she is doing as a parent. Why add unnecessary fuel to a fire that is constantly being combatted?
Additionally, offering advice on how to parent to another Mom should be done in love and with pure intentions. Now, I don't always agree with the way that some of my friends and family raise their kids. Honestly, it is sometimes hard for me not to say anything - if you know me, you know I'm a little too free with my opinions at times. When it comes to parenting though, I've learned to know my place! They may, however, get an unsolicited book from me in the mail;) What I am saying is, when you create a non-competitive, caring environment with other Mothers you can share ideas and make suggestions that seem like real help and not opportunities to say "I'm better than you" or "you're doing a poor job". Being a Mom is hard enough!
Brad is always reassuring me and talking be down from the ledges of Mommy self doubt. I just had a freak-out a couple of nights ago. I was convinced I dropped the ball because Amara doesn't count to 10 in Spanish or try to sound out words when I read to her. She's not even 2 yet but that night I totally thought I ruined her! I couldn't even sleep. You know who didn't lose any sleep over such silliness though? A happy little girl who just knows that Mommy and Daddy love her beyond anything this world contains and that we're always there. Brad didn't lose any sleep either, he knew I was being ridiculous.
You know what's funny? This post started out being all about this crazy beautiful little girl of mine. But it's 1:00 am and stream of consciousness, or unconsciousness, kind of took over.