For some reason, this quote popped in my head while I was getting ready for work.
"...We must be beautiful, powerful, and without regret."
This is a quote from Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice.
Sure, when Armand said it, he was referring to vampires. But can't it also be applied to mommies as well???
All mothers are beautiful. The very act of giving birth is an act of beauty and creation. This tiny little thing was made by you. He or she is yours to love forever. But after birth, you are left overweight (well most of us are), with stretch marks and other such physical and emotional reminders of what had happened. Maybe you even use your body to nourish your child. You spent all your time focusing on your kids, you forget yourself. Your life becomes one of schedules, and diapers, and feedings, and more diapers. But you need to take the time for yourself. You need to find yourself within the mommy that you've become. Remember who you once were and bring back pieces of her.
All mothers are powerful. I can't even begin to explain how powerful you really are.
All mothers should be without regret. Moms are inundated with questions. Concerns. More questions. Anxiety.over whether or not they are making the right decision for their kids.
Did I nurse long enough? Did I nurse at all? Should I have? Why can't I just give formula? I work, I have to send my baby to daycare. Does that screw her up? Does that give her better socializing skills? Or does that make her feel abandoned? Should I homeschool? What's wrong with kids these days? Should I go organic with all her food? Oh no, I gave her baby food from a jar! Am I going green enough? Do I spend enough time with her? He doesn't respond to timeouts - why can't I spank him? I was spanked and turned out fine. He's not developing as quickly as other kids his age? Should he be evaluated? Is he just a little slower than others? Do we need to label him now? Could he have ADD? Autism? A behavior disorder? Do we read enough books? Do the kids watch too much t.v.? How much is too much? Mommy just needs a break so she turns Sprout on. Can I take a break? Do I deserve one? Must I spend every waking minute with my children? Or it is ok to let them play alone? Unstructured? Unsupervised? Do I need to be a helicopter mom, controlling all issues that involve my child? Do I need to back off and let them make their own decisions???
Moms worry too much about what others think. What others feel is right. I read so many blogs where the moms shop organic only, cloth diapers (twins, no less!), exclusively breastfeed for a year, etc.
I can't compete.
Do I even want to?
No, I don't. I'm happy with my life, with my parenting decisions. Just as you should be happy with your decisions as well. No way is the right way. All mothers should be allowed to raise their kids how they want. Without being judged for doing/not doing something.
I still struggle with things, but I am slowly learning to let the regrets go and focus on what really matters most.
(This is a re-post from 2010.
But every so often
I think back to what I felt when I wrote this,
and today was one of those days.
So I share it again.)