I have “met” some amazing expecting mommies through this blog; I have gotten to interview them and ask them questions and answer their questions and support them and follow the journeys of those that have their own blogs. And there is one feeling that swells up out of them and every mommy I have ever encountered – Am I going to be a good mommy. Here is my answer to you all…
To the expecting mommy,
From the moment you decided to carry your little human inside your body; choosing to sacrifice your favourite wines and cheeses and sushi and even medication to ease your own pain; you became a good mommy.
From the moment you decided to let your baby grow and thrive and roll inside of you; stretching your skin and your muscles and your ligaments, shoving your organs aside, wearing at the fibers inside of you to make room for them; you became a good mommy.
From the moment you accepted that nurturing this part of you would send your hormones swirling; inciting rage and elation and despair and joy and fear and excitement that has nothing to do with your own feelings; you became a good mommy.
From the moment you faced the enormity of bringing your child into this world; whether it is through your own body separating and tearing or giving somebody you barely know permission to cut through your skin and flesh and muscle; you became a good mommy.
From the moment you hold your breath and wait to hear that first scream; your heart pounding in your ears, the rest of the world zooming out of focus as your entire being pulls towards this part of you no longer part of you but still attached to your body; you become a good mommy.
From the moment you hold your own tiny piece of perfection in your arms; feeling the sheer surrealness in their existence, seeing the face of your dreams, feeling the building and swelling of love that fills you to your soul; you become a good mommy.
From the moment you bring that pouting little mouth to your breast; unsure if you can, if they will, if you will ever know how, if you are doing something wrong, if there is something wrong with you or them, if it is meant to pull at something deep inside of you, if it meant to hurt; you become a good mommy.
From the moment you lie listening for their breathing; exhausted beyond measure, given a brief reprieve when they fall asleep, needing more than anything to rest and recover and sleep, but there you lie, straining to hear every breath and ensure they are safe and happy; you become a good mommy.
From the moment you put your own pain and discomfort from birth aside to walk them to sleep; rocking, soothing, bouncing, singing, swaying that becomes so much a part of you, you do it even when they aren’t in your arms; you became a good mommy.
From the moment you sacrifice what you envisioned feeding your baby might be like to do what is best for them; powering through breastfeeding with cracked, bleeding, excrutiating nipples or having to give up on your desperate wish to breastfeed to give your baby formula because your baby won’t feed or your milk doesn’t flow or you need medication you can no longer delay or your body cannot take it anymore or you need to do it for yourself to be better for them; you become a good mommy.
From the moment you choose where your baby is going to sleep; in your arms, in your bed, in a co-sleeper, in a cot alongside your bed, in a cot across your room, in a cot in their own room, wherever you believe that they will get the best rest and be the happiest and most secure; you become a good mommy.
From the moment you need to go back to work, or realise you are blessed enough to be able to sacrifice the extra income, or divide yourself into pieces to be a stay at home mom and a working mom by being a work at home mom; you become a good mommy.
From the moment you realise that to be a good mom you need to look after you too; taking me-time, buying yourself something special, having a date with your other half; you become a good mom.
At the end of the day, to my mind at least, from the moment you begin to question if you will be a good mom, that worry alone is the sign of a mommy that wants to be more and do all, and that want means that you are already a good mommy.
Self doubt and mommy guilt are very real things; facing being a mommy and having full responsibility for another human life can be overwhelming. As the mom of a toddler I am not sure that ever goes away.
I still doubt myself and call myself a bad mommy at least a dozen times a day; but my daughter is thriving, she is confident, she is funny, she is gorgeous, she loves to make people laugh, she is adored by everybody that meets her and by a whole lot of people that never have, she knows she is loved and cherished every moment of every day – even the bad ones. Even in my very worst moments, I can look at her and see that overall I must be doing something very right; it is just reminding yourself to look up and really see them that might be a struggle some days.
So to every expecting mommy, and all the other mommies out there too, there isn’t a question as to whether you will be a good mommy because you are ALREADY a good mommy.
Sending all the love xx
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