And just like that she’s two.
Over the weekend we celebrated my daughter’s second birthday. It was an event filled with a myriad of emotions. Elation, joy, relief, excitement and stress.
She was two. TWO! We had made it, well… kind of. For the past two years my husband and I have managed to nurture this little human and help her grow from a teeny-tiny baby into a toddler. She was now running, and dancing, and playing, and screaming.
As my daughter has grown over these past two years so has my confidence as a mother. Believe it or not, it is only now that I actually feel comfortable in saying I am a mother. Before, I didn’t feel worthy enough to even put myself in the mother category. It just didn’t feel right… until now.
Along with that confidence comes the hindsight and the knowledge that:
- Every baby is different, just like every adult is different. Not only is that OK, it’s also completely normal.
- Things that work for one family will not necessarily work for every family. Every family unit operates within its own rules and quirks. If you’re happy, and your baby is happy then that is all that matters. No, seriously. That is ALL THAT MATTERS.
- If you’re unhappy with something, or worried about something, seek out a professional. Sure, anecdotal stories from other mother’s are helpful, but having a professional reassure that everything is OK can work wonders for your anxiety.
- With that, don’t be afraid to be HONEST about your problems when talking to other mothers. A baby who doesn’t sleep well or has a fussy appetite is not a reflection on your skills as a mother. That’s just a baby/toddler doing what they do best – working themselves and the world around them out.
- It’s OK to cry. It’s OK to weep. It’s OK to ugly cry behind your car as you walk to the driver’s seat after locking your baby into the baby seat.
- It’s OK to feel like running away.
- There will be shit days, but they will not last forever.
- It’s OK to ask for help.
- STOP FOLLOWING MOTHER’S ON INSTAGRAM WHO MAKE YOU FEEL LESS THAN YOU ARE. It’s fake. All of it. Yes, even that revolting-looking kale smoothie.
- You do not have to take anyone’s advice if you don’t want you. Obviously, this excludes medical professionals – listen to them. But if someone starts a sentence with “can I offer you some advice” and you don’t want to hear it you are well within your right to say “no thanks, I’m fine”.