Monday, March 21, 2011

Perfecting Imperfection

How ironic. My last post should actually have been inserted here - it would've been a pretty perfect fit. Except I didn't know what was to come and the guilt that was expressed there had zero to do with the guilt that I apparently should have been feeling today. The guilt expressed previously is of my own shortcomings and not being able to deliver the things I do not understand fully or know anything about - that perhaps I should. Not because I am guilty of actually doing or not doing something. In short, I've learned to compartmentalize most of everything in the last 14 and a half months. The husband will throw around comments such as "remarkable self restraint" and the like, but he is also the person who reminds me that I am usually the "bad" parent. Ya know? If that means she will not grow up to be a self absorbed brat that goes around biting, kicking and smacking other kids in the face and thinking it's okay and even funny, or not understanding that she can't always get what she wants when she wants it, then so be the "bad" parent. Being labeled the "bad" one isn't a result of anything other than the fact that she is learning to press buttons and to press them hard and my attempts of trying to correct this behavior. Without living in my reality daily, there's no way for anyone else to know this and it must sound as though I am simply mean. There's also no way for anyone to know that I play, snuggle, kiss and dote on her as much, and more, than I reprimand her. Why? There's noone here to see that either. It's true that I am always sleep deprived. I am generally almost always hungry too. I also have headaches rather frequently. That is all secondary to what my baby needs - always. Do I struggle with it? Sure and because it's a struggle some days, I am very sensitive and mindful of it and much more careful when I know it's going to be a rough day. Is it always successful? That depends on who you're asking, but I'm confident enough to say that I have yet to lose my cool with her solely because I'm cranky. It's nothing close to being easy, but I'm far from throwing myself a pity party over it. Because of days like today, there are times I have an urge to not reprimand her for doing something she shouldn't be doing when there's someone else around, but that would just be an easy cop out. I haven't done a great job of anything but I did turn out a happy baby and that to me means the world. I'm not a perfect mom. Nor will I ever be. But I won't stop to strive for it and I will never pretend to be it. However far below perfect as I may be, I will never stop doing what I feel is right or good for her just because others are quick to point fingers, judge, question, criticize and differ in their opinions. I may not always be right, I will always second guess myself as well as be second guessed by others regularly, I will always be in search for the perfect answer and I will continue making mistakes and continue learning from them as well (hopefully anyway), but I'll always choose what I feel is best over my fears of what others may think or say. If I had to keep a list of my top priorities, at the very top will be "for her to know know she is loved in every sense of the word - at all times". A village is not necessary to raise a child. It helps, but isn't required. If you have one that works well, it's a great thing. If we attempted to raise Jellybean in our "village" of mish mashed folks, life would be far worse, and far more difficult. Sure, it would be nice to have someone else change her diaper every now and again, but I'll take mental sanity and emotional well-being versus forking over diaper duties any day. Every so often there's a cloud of doubt that someone puts over your head whether it be some random lady at the grocery store, the parents, a spouse or even a friend, and while it helps to reassess a situation, it's good to be able to take a step back and still see what you first saw when you step forward again. It's nice to know that you're not actually doing everything all wrong. I don't have bad days often. Bad moments, yes, and even those moments are few and far apart lately, and are also very short lived. In that sense, I suppose I'm a pretty content person all in all, even if not a constantly happy one (because that would just be weird) and that makes me lucky. You can't have just good days everyday (because that would be even weird-er) right?

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