One of a Kind
Your baby is unlike other babies, and you are unlike other mothers.
Your baby is unique and the only one of its kind.
You are unique and the only one of your kind.
Embed that in your brain and say it every morning when you wake up or remember that the next time you start to compare yourself and your sweet babe.
This was me. I compared myself constantly with so many other moms, and then the mom guilt grabbed me by the hand and swept me so far down that I didn’t even know who I was anymore. It became this cyclical game, and I couldn’t figure out how to win because I had lost so many times before, or so I thought.
I would compare myself and, even worse, I would compare Leo. I compared his milestones. Why wasn’t he doing this by the time, as ____ did? Is there something wrong with him? Am I not doing this parenting thing correctly?
I couldn’t make it stop. Every time I tried, I would get triggered by something and back down the hole, I would fall.
People would ask me what I was feeding him, and when I would tell them, they would insert their opinion.
People would ask me if he was sleeping through the night yet, and when I would say no, they would insert their opinion.
People would ask me if we co-slept and when I would tell them yes, they would insert their opinion.
People would ask me if I wanted more kids, and I would think something was wrong with me because, at that moment, the thought of having more kids made me want to scream.
… I could go on, but you can read my post on mom-shaming.
My point is, instead of learning how to accept unwanted advice and opinions gracefully, I was letting them seep in and rule my thoughts, which turned into some somber emotions. And when you’re a new mom, the last thing you need is to be in your head thinking you’re a horrible person for not living the way____ lives.
Remember that others aren’t out to get you. I genuinely believe that most advice and opinions from others are well-intentioned, but don’t let it get to you.
Don’t feel bad if your child isn’t eating vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free.
Don’t feel bad if your child still hasn’t transitioned down to one nap or is on a nap protest (like mine, currently).
Don’t feel bad if their socks don’t match or they don’t like to wear shoes.
Not every baby likes to be swaddled. Not every baby likes to nap at 10 & 2. Not every baby starts talking at 13 months. Not every baby is potty trained by 2. Not every baby sleeps through the night by eight months.
You don’t have to model your family after another family because they seem to have their shit together. Just create a life and environment that works best for you because only you know what’s best for you and your family. Easier said than done, clearly, or else we’d all be doing this. But it takes baby steps (pun intended) and one heck of a mama tribe.
No baby is the same. No, mama is the same. But one thing is for sure; you are doing a GREAT JOB!