Last week, I wrote about my “failed” breastfeeding experience. I loved loved loved reading the comments. But one comment keeps popping up here, on my Babycenter birth boards, on my personal blog, and in conversations with my mom friends – “if I had known then what I know now.” It is said with a sense of regret, when things did not go as planned and the parent feels as if they could have done a better job with more knowledge, more planning, or more experience.
Here’s where I want to give the entire internet and mothering community a great big hug and say STOP BEATING YOURSELF UP. You are a good enough parent just as you are. Maybe every step of parenthood has not gone as you planned. Maybe you could have spent more time reading books, consulting doctors, talking to parents, and maybe just maybe things would have worked out exactly as you planned. Maybe. Maybe.
The reality of the situation is that a large majority of parenthood is on-the-job learning and mistakes are going to be made. I used to feel guilty about these mistakes, the small ones and the big ones. Some days being a parent of twins, my mistakes are amplified because I’m making them twice! The way I finally got my mommy guilt in check was to realize this: every day, I am doing all that I can to be the best parent that I can be. By no means am I perfect, but I’m giving it my all. I hold my head high because while things have not always worked out, I am out there trying hard every day to be a good mom. I take time to mourn the big things that did not work out, then move on to live in the moment with my boys.
What about you? Tell me how you get past the woulda-shoulda-couldas.