I find it too easy to beat myself up over not being the “perfect” mom. The ugly cycle of guilt comes rolling in every time things don’t go perfectly and, let’s face it, that’s every day. Since Yom Kippur is a time to seek forgiveness from those you’ve wronged and, in turn, forgive those who have wronged you, I’m choosing to ask forgiveness of myself for all of the ways I’ve messed up as a parent this past year.
1. I Have Over-Apologized.
Studies have shown that women apologize more than men and I’m convinced that moms in particular say “I’m sorry” more than anyone. “Sorry we’re late,” “Sorry we can’t stay,” “Sorry the baby is crying,” “Sorry we made such a mess,” and so on. Like many families with young children, my husband and I prioritize the sleeping and eating schedule we’ve worked so hard to establish for our toddler, yet I still find myself apologizing profusely whenever we show up late or have to leave early because of said routine. I’m also keenly aware of any disturbance my child might be causing other people. Did she make a huge mess on the restaurant floor? Is she sobbing too loudly on the airplane? Even though I know that my husband and I are the ones suffering the most from her public tantrums and messes, I still feel bad and apologize to anyone who seems remotely annoyed.
I’d like to quit saying sorry for being a parent with a small child.
2. I Have Compared.
Perhaps the most anxiety-producing moment of a visit to the pediatrician is when your child’s doctor announces her weight and height percentiles. I’m almost positive my mother’s generation never received such statistics at our appointments. How can I not use those numbers to compare my daughter to her toddler playmates? And in terms of developmental milestones, it’s difficult not to observe other children’s progress and wonder how my child measures up, especially with all those super helpful Pinterest charts and graphs floating around.
I’d like to stop comparing my child to yours.
3. I Have Stressed.
Hi, my name is Lindsey and I am addicted to staring at my daughter’s baby monitor while she’s supposed to be sleeping.
I’d like to relax.
4. I Have Hovered.
As a stay at home mom, it’s tough to let go and allow my husband to take over during his time with our daughter. I pop my head in the door to remind him to change a diaper or get her a snack which, I realize, isn’t necessary. He’s an awesome dad and, although his parenting style differs from my own, I could stand to back off.
I’d like to let go and trust my partner.
5. I Have Hurried.
Aside from “No,” the two phrases that I say most on a daily basis are “Let’s go,” and “Come on.” I’m not sure why it’s so urgent that my daughter gets up the stairs at a faster pace, or eats her lunch now versus in five minutes from now when she’s done looking at a book. Rushing her doesn’t feel good for either of us.
I’d like to slow down.
6. I Have Texted.
I turn the TV on every day. Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Doc McStuffins are household favorites. We FaceTime with family members who live far away. We pull up The Wiggles music videos on YouTube. I know many of us would agree that technology and toddlers can go together in moderation, but when your daughter trips and falls down two stairs because she’s pretending to text on her toy phone (ahem, your old Blackberry), you might have a problem.
I’d like to play outside with my daughter more.
7. I Have Eaten a LOT of Reese’s.
This probably hasn’t been the healthiest pregnancy on record.
I’d like to eat better.
8. I Have Doubted Myself.
Haven’t we all?
Most of all, I’d like to believe in myself, and my ability to be a good mom.