Five months ago by baby girl was born. These past few months have been a blend of beauty, fear, laughs, cries, peace, anxiety, happiness, sadness, confidence, self-doubt, calmness and panic. Underneath it all is a completely consuming LOVE that ties all these things together.
Day by day, moment by moment, things are changing. Just when I think I’ve figured it out, something happens and I need to find my way again. My baby now rolls, laughs, and talks (in baby language). She’s moved from sleeping in her bassinet next to me, to sleeping in a crib in her own room. (This was traumatic for me but I know good for her!) She really explores her world. Toys, people, her toes, a leaf; it’s all captivating and new for her. It’s the most incredible thing to observe her as she observes her world.
As for me, I’ve been struggling a bit with mom-xiety. It’s that special kind of anxiety that hits when you’ve brought a life into the world. I actually experienced something similar when we got my dog Romeo so mamas of fur babies- you may have felt this too! It’s this nagging overwhelming knowing that the choices I make directly affect my baby not only now, but for the rest of her life. No pressure, right? Ahhh!
I am both overwhelmed and surprised by my inability to turn off my thoughts about Emily. While I can get in touch with my calm, I am worrying a lot of the time. Questions always seem to be popping up. Should she have a nap schedule? Should I start solids? Which solid should I give first? Is it okay to let her fuss and cry for a bit to learn how to fall asleep on her own? Am I a good enough mom? Etc, etc, etc.
I’m a yogi and I can turn to my yoga practice and say to myself- everything changes, breathe and just let it be. I know that thoughts are just thoughts and I don’t have to give them power. No need to engage in the “monkey mind.” I understand that by finding quiet through movement, meditation or music I can feel better. Even though I know all this in theory, here are things that hinder my ability to do so a lot of the time:
Google. Why must I always turn to you? Please stop giving me way too much information on EVERYTHING.
Mom Message Boards. Yes, sometimes you are helpful, but usually you scare the crap out of me. More than once I’ve had nightmares from some of the information I’ve read on you.
Parenting Books and Blogs– There are so many of you. And there is so much conflicting information. I can’t read you all. Stop being everywhere!
Okay I admit it, I could also exercise some self control and not always turn to these external sources of information. I could probably spend more time quieting my mind and tuning inward to my intuition. I’m working on it.
Rationally I know many of my small worries aren’t actually a big deal. It may seem like the first solid food I choose to feed Emily is a massive decision, but most likely she’s just going to be spitting it out anyway! It may seem like allowing her to nap in her swing sometimes is creating a horrible habit, but it keeps me sane and she’s FINE. Life will go on, and we will be okay!
I wish I could end this post by tying it in a bow and concluding with “here is the answer.” I can’t. All I can say is deep down I know I don’t have to be perfect, I just have to be GOOD ENOUGH. Emily is loved and isn’t that ultimately the most important thing?