August 3, 2009

Mommy Guilt...

As I sit back and reflect on the (almost) one year that Little A has been a part of our family, I recall many fond memories. I turn the pages in my mind to revisit all the accomplishments she has made, the milestones she has conquered... I can't help but linger on the images of her bright blue beautiful eyes or her silly toothy grin, whose forms are etched in my mind like crystals.

With so many wonderful recollections to ponder, why is it that I find myself dwelling on the what if's, the not enough's, and the not the same's?

I feel as though Sassy had many more experiences during her first year. In those days, it wasn't a race against the clock to just get out the door. It wasn't a scheduling nightmare to juggle 2 kids busy agendas. I wasn't (much of) a working mama then.

Back then, I didn't have a (loving, wonderful, hilarious, smart as a whip) toddler to avert the focus from the baby to herself. Back then, I didn't find it difficult to find the time to sit on the floor and play peek-a-boo or read books all day.

I can't help but think that Sassy knew more songs and games at one. She said more words at one. She was closer to walking at one. I know each child is different, but I can't help but wonder if I aided in these things more with Sassy than Little A.

It's nature vs. nurture... in the flesh...

I was flipping through the latest Parents magazine, and it said that by one year of age, most babies have been read to for 122 hours. Um, no. 503 miles have been added to the wear on your stroller. No again. Un-check my box.

Then, there's the boundaries. I wouldn't let McDonald's or any other fast food pass Sassy's lips forever. Just the other day, I found myself feeding Little A bits of chicken and tortilla from my snack wrap as Sassy played. Sassy definitely wasn't allowed to ride in the bike trailer until she was well over a year. Little A... well, she's been on several rides...

When I think back to all the times I let Little A cry just a little bit longer before picking her up, or all those times when I let the bath slide just one more night...

...it overwhelms me.

How do you deal with the guilt in your life?

6 sweet tweets:

miranda said...

Dont dwell so much on all of that, Littl A is a very happy healthy baby and thats because your her mommy. And thats all that matters. You have done a wonderful job for the first year of her life and i know you will do a wonderful job her second and third and so on and so forth. Keep up the good job.

Mandy said...

You are a great mom Heather. I have to remind myself that I am also a great mom because I deal with the same things you do... but we get better as we have experience, we learn that McDonalds for lunch, or rides in the bike trailer will not hurt them. We're just more comfortable (and more busy) with number 2. Little A is a happy, healthy, and bright young girl... who will be a Little Sassy very soon.

Monica said...

Uh. Are you reading my mind? I am not sure I have (cough...) ever read to Connor. The stroller does have a lot of miles on it, but that is because I was trying to get myself into shape. I am working this time around and have a toddler and am exhausted. And guilty.

Kendra said...

I am the second daughter (of 5), and I turned out JUST FINE...for the most part =)

I think the fact that even take note of those things and would let them tug at your heart is a pretty clear sign that is one loved little girl.

Shannon said...

You are a great Mom. The difference between now and then...you have that Second-time Mom Confidence. You know that almost everything is okay in moderation, you don't have to follow the book as much as you follow your instinct. You don't measure how good a parent you are by how many miles your stoller has on it...you judge it by how happy and healthy your baby is. And Little A looks plenty happy to me! If it makes you feel better, you get even more lax with the third ;)

The Costellos said...

I almost cried reading your post because I feel that same (crazy, self-imposed) guilt every day. I think it's normal and inevitable. We can't change the fact that when there's only one, they get it all. It sounds to me that you are a fabulous Mama, though, and that Little A is well loved and cared for!