Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Perfect Mother

I tried so hard to be the "perfect" mother.  It started when I was pregnant.  I didn't drink coffee.  I didn't use artificial sweeteners.  I didn't allow Tim or I to sing along to the radio (we are both really BAD singers!) because I believed if the baby never heard someone singing poorly, he would be a good singer.  I read every single thing there was about being pregnant, and about babies.  

I was determined to have a "natural" childbirth.  I practiced my breathing and attended the childbirth classes.  Of course after 12-14 hours of labor, I completely changed my mind and BEGGED for an epidural.  After getting one I wanted to nominate the anesthesiologist for sainthood.

I made sure that my baby had the "perfect" car seat and the "perfect" high chair.

I signed up for a diaper service because cloth diapers were so much "better" for the baby.  I breast fed.  I played Mozart for him, I read to him, I made "homemade" baby food.  I washed his clothes separately from Tim's and my clothes in the special (expensive) sensitive skin laundry detergent.

I spent hours talking to him, and watching him sleep.  I took 3 million photos of him - each one in a different outfit.

I watched Barney with him!

I was obsessive.  I would get frustrated if Tim emptied the dishwasher and put the wrong colored lid on the sippy cups.  I spent way too much time going behind him and "fixing" them.

Then Paige was born...

I had a baby and a two year old.  I lowered my standards.  

I decided that disposable diapers weren't that bad after all.

I still breast fed, but not as long.  And I supplemented with formula.  

I realized that all the work of making homemade baby food was really a waste of time because they liked the taste of the stuff in the jars better anyway.

I didn't take as many pictures.  I didn't stare at her when she was sleeping and think how perfect she was - I made a beeline for MY bed and took a nap!!

I did NOT watch the Teletubbies with her.

I threw everyone's clothing in the same load and didn't buy any special detergent.

I didn't really care so much if the blue sippy cup had the green lid on it.

I was obviously not as concerned about all the safety features in her mode of transportation either!

I wish I hadn't been so obsessive about stuff when Clay was a baby.  I wish I had just enjoyed that time more.  I wish I hadn't been so frazzled when Paige was a baby.  Even though I lowered my standards quite a bit, I was still so concerned with doing everything "right".  I wish I had known how fast they grow up.  I wish I had known how much I would miss those days.

And truthfully?  It doesn't make any difference if your baby wears cloth diapers or disposable, what type of baby food they eat, if they listen to Mozart or Bon Jovi...as long as you love them and they know that you love them, I think they'll be just fine.

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