Before I became a mom I thought I had a plan on raising the perfect child. I look back and realize how Judgie McJudgerson I was when I saw a child in a store having a meltdown, a child on a leash, kids in public in clothes that don't match and hair not combed, or when I heard my mom friends talk about how they didn't want to bring their children places because their kids could tear up a home in no time. I always wanted to give a disapproving look or ask why they didn't just correct the child's behavior and that would be the end of it. Haha! I was wrong! If only it were that simple!
I was the best mom ever before I had Nicholas. I had all the right answers to how I would handle certain situations, I would breastfeed my child for a solid year and he would never discover that candy and sweets exist until he was well into preschool. I would never be frustrated or upset when my much wanted, longed for newborn cried. I would just sit and hold him for hours upon hours while he slept peacefully, you know, only waking to eat.
Then, God laughed at me. He gave me the most gorgeous, 9 pound baby who was also the most stubborn, colicky, severely allergic to milk newborn and all that went out the window. I didn't know a thing about being a mom! My no bottles except at daycare rule went out of the window on day 3 when even the 2nd lactation consultant couldn't get him to eat. We got home and 3 weeks in he began screaming. 24 HOURS A DAY. He didn't sleep, he just screamed. I cried with him. I slept on the couch for maybe 3 hours total in 2 days/nights. I cut out everything dairy, soy, greasy, or spicy from my diet. Nothing worked. Finally at week 5 I had to put him on the most expensive over the counter, $30/can formula. My plans were shot to hell and I felt as though I was a terrible mother. I couldn't even feed my child who apparently was allergic the enzymes in breast milk. Awesome.
Then came the grand finale that made me throw my hands up and want to call every mom I had ever judged, friends and strangers. It was the day my sick 17 month old naked baby escaped the exam room at the pediatrician's office, ran down the hall prompting his doctor to ask if I had invested in a leash for my "Olympic sprinter". Yep, my child was THAT CHILD. The one melting down in the store because I wouldn't buy him cookies, streaking the hallway at the pediatrician office, looking like a homeless kid because he was so filthy from daycare, and his hair a mess because he has more hair than some adults and there is nothing you can do with it...and that's ok! It is what it is.
You see, even the most type A, obsessive mom can be THAT mom. You don't know what it is like to be THAT mom until you've walked in her shoes. Maybe she is a single mom or a working mom that is exhausted and her child has been at daycare all day and is exhausted himself. Nothing is worse than a child who i exhausted and wanting attention after a day at daycare. Maybe those really are the best clothes she can afford for her child. Maybe her pediatrician recommended the child be on a leash when he goes to Disney or even the park (we haven't bought one yet, but plan to before our trip) because it is a safety measure, not a cruel punishment. Moral to this story is don't jump to make judgements. Every mom does the best they can, even if it isn't how you would handle a situation.
My name is Amanda and I was a great mom...until I became a mom.