Tuesday, June 5, 2012

And now...a moment of clarity.

I have spent the past (a little over) two years worrying, probably giving myself unnecessary wrinkles, dark circles and ulcers over being the mommy I always wanted. The mommy who knew exactly what you wanted for your birthday, the kind of cake to bake and the one that always called you at the exact time you were born every year, even if that moment was in the middle of the night.

The mom who kissed away your boo-boos and tears, one who was  there waving goodbye when you got on the bus in the morning, and smiling excitedly when you got off the bus after school. But unfortunately, as Isabel got Andre and I  by chance, circumstance and a dash of science and biology, I couldn't chose my mom.

Just because my mother wasn't the exact mom I would have wanted, still want or chose, doesn't mean that I would change anything. If I didn't have my mother, I would have never become the person I am today. I would have never learned that being a mother is so much more than a title, and that much like adopted children, it doesn't matter who gives birth to you, you don't need to be tied to someone by blood to have them be family. You don't need to come from the belly of the person who will love you most... And while I hope that Isabel never has to feel the disappointment I have felt from my own mother, I was very fortunate to  know the love of a mother, (while not mine by birth) who loves me unconditionally.

I also learned that the little things do matter some of the time, when the little things are cuddling on the couch or making cookies on rainy days. Walking hand in hand picking flowers when it's sunny, or playing in the sprinkler outside on hot days. Or holding each other close in bed, cuddling as if life depends on it. Giggling in the bath, blowing bubbles, and kissing each other goodnight.

So much of my time is spent worrying.... How will I get it all done? How can I clean the house, make the perfect meal, do the laundry, teach her her ABC's and make sure she doesn't watch too much TV, and still get through a nights work? How does everyone else, some with multiple children, make it all look so easy? They all secretly have maids and nannies, don't they? Magic spells from 'the book of mommy magic', that is apparently harder to get a copy of the than the 50 shades trilogy?

And often, the time I don't spend worrying, I spend feeling guilty.. Guility for wanting time to myself. Wanting to be just me, not mommy-me, not wife-me, or work-me, just me.  Danielle me. To go shopping without worrying about what needs to be done at home and who might be missing me in my absence. Agonizing over wanting to leave my kid totally safely with another mom in a local gym nursery, that I will be 5 feet from so I can workout and feel better about myself which will hopefully improve my overall mood, any maybe make me a better mom. Guilt over sitting on the computer or eating a whine-free lunch during nap time instead of using that time more 'wisely' to get dinner made, or the cleaning done.

So, my moment of clarity came to me while I was driving home last night from work. Why all the stress? Why all the guilt? I am doing the best I know how, and the outcome has been pretty amazing.

I am not the perfect mom. I am the only mom I know how to be. I will learn from the mistakes of those before me, and take (with caution) the advice of those around me.

I will not spend all of my time agonizing over what I feed my child, how we spend our days, and whether everyone else is happy with the way my child is being raised.

I will no longer concern myself with being the 'perfect' mom. I will everyday grow, and learn with my daughter, and I will try to concentrate being a better mom. Not a better mom than my own. Not better than my sisters or my friends. But I will always work on being the best mom I can be.

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