I have a little girl who is almost two, and since her birth, I have become accustomed to a unique affliction known as Mommy Guilt. It did not exist before I had my daughter, but it manifested itself along with her.
I’m told it’s common for mothers to second guess themselves, particularly with our first born children. Here is a list of things I’ve worried about:
* Is she eating enough/too much?
* Have I done irreparable damage to her by letting her eat chocolate cake at her first birthday party?
* Is she sleeping not enough/too much?
* Is she meeting her milestones at the right times?
* Am I feeding her the correct ratio of nutrients?
* Is her behaviour normal or have I done something wrong?
* What if she didn’t nurse for long enough?
* Did her traumatic birth damage her?
* Is our bond strong enough?
Frankly, I could go on. These are the things I’ve thought of in the last sixty seconds. I guess it’s a consequence of embarking on a new job (motherhood) with no training or qualifications.
Actually, we do have an instruction manual, which gives us a few parenting tips. Here is a well-known passage that sums up our parenting responsibilities pretty well:
* Love is patient, love is kind: yes, even when toddler is smearing paint (or poo!) up the wall.
* Love is not jealous or boastful or proud: okay, but my child really is the smartest, most beautiful, most talented child in the world!
* Love does not demand its own way: a toddler will, loudly
* Love is not irritable and keeps no record of wrongs: even when frustrated because toddler has smacked me in the face again?
* Love rejoices when the truth wins out: ah, so that’s where my expensive lipstick is! Please don’t try to flush it down the toilet again, darling.
* Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance: my heart walks around clutched in the fist of my daughter, and I hope she knows that I will never give up on her and never lose faith in her. I will teach her the meaning of hope and will stand with her through every circumstance.
1 Corinthians 13