Mommy Guilt/Shame and the Need for Grace

I nannied for roughly 10 years, but all of that barely prepares you for the first two months of your own child's life. It barely scratches the surface of what all you can face.

Motherhood felt like it truly started in the second half of the second trimester, when suddenly I started getting incredibly itchy. I eventually spoke with my doctor about it, only to find out that what was causing the itchiness put a slight risk on my baby being a stillborn. The proposed plan was induction no earlier than 37 weeks, yet not waiting too much longer than that. Thirty-seven and a half weeks came, and the little munchkin arrived. *Cue hormone overload.* And then. In my hormone induced stupor, I heard them say that he had a small heart murmur, and we would need to get it checked out. My ears heard "small" but my heart heard, "he's not going to make it to the end of his first month." In my mind, he was similar to the plants I struggle to keep alive. So began a batch of emotional roller coaster rides for me.

Going to a pediatric cardiologist looked like a mountain, but in the end our hearts (ok mostly mind) were calmed by the good doctor. He was going to live, and it would be odd if the murmur didn't heal. You would think it stops there.

But no.

With my hormones still raging, I fully discovered how women get to wade through the ridiculous mommy guilt and shame if we don't do things how some other mom does things. Talk about rolling into the mire down a bumpy, cow-pile encrusted hill.

It's for the birds.

And when I say it's ridiculous, hear me out. It. Is. Ridiculous.

All of us women were raised differently, by era, by culture, by demographic, by family, etc. We are ALL going, to some extent, parent differently/make decisions differently than the next person. For a little while, I got all in a tizzy, spiraling more down than up. But. Through some very long discussions with my husband, I came to rest in that my husband and I are doing our best to make the right decisions for our family based on our now knowledge. I can reset in that. Will we always get it right? No. Will every decision we make be approved by everyone? No. Do we have things we are learning/researching? Yes. Can we get all that learning/researching done in one week? No.

So, seriously. For all my favorite people who are mommies and those women that I am still getting to know.

Community is important, and it does take a village. But. My word. Grace upon grace, and we're all different. As long as the baby is breathing and growing, and we're still learning and trying to figure it out, then coming together and encouraging each other (instead of the opposite) is what we should be doing.

You were given these children--you. No one else.
You were given these children because you are who
 they need. You have the soul to love them even on
their hard days. You have the motivation and 
love to give these children everything they need.
You have the heart to wake up every morning and
do it all over again, even when you're exhausted.
You have the smile that they crave and the touch
to make everything ok. You are their sunshine
and their comfort. You are theirs, and they are yours,
On the days you are questioning yourself, 
remember this. You've got this.]


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