It’s Not Your Fault, Mama

It’s not your fault, Mama.

It’s not your fault she doesn’t want to eat chicken tonight. Even though you’re not sure if you
managed to buy the same kind this week.

You’re not doing anything wrong- some babies take a long time to walk. Just because there are
things they suggest to get them walking doesn’t mean it’s your fault that those things aren’t

You do all the research and the digging and the finding. You test out theories and follow your
mom gut. You listen to your intuition (even if you second guess it tomorrow) and are somehow
guided by a force bigger than you.

Some days you just survive. Going through the motions of breakfast, nap, lunch, nap, dinner,
bedtime. Some days you get creative and cut their food into fun shapes, which then they choke
on. Or you plan a fun outing where they just scream the whole time. Some days the most
random thing will bring tons of giggles and fun. Some days just fucking suck. Some days you find
a random reserve of energy that has you dancing all over the place, lost in the glee that Sesame
Street can bring to your little.

You’re not a bad mom for counting down til bedtime. You’re not a bad mom for feeding her the
same thing every day! You’re not a bad mom for needing a break, for getting frustrated, for
screaming into a pillow or fantasizing about what your life was like before. Or what your life will
be like when they go to school.

She falls down and you blame yourself. She’s having trouble sleeping, or pooping- you blame
yourself. She’s bored- you blame yourself. But yet you never take credit for the good stuff
either. She knows a bunch of words? She’s just smart. Never mind all your efforts at reading,
mimicry and sign language. She recovers quickly from getting upset? She’s just even tempered.
Having used a bunch of gentle parenting techniques that reinforce that all feelings are ok and
that she’s safe no matter what? That couldn’t have anything to do with it.

You’re not the only one who takes all the things that she’s worried about and somehow finds
license to blame it all on herself.

You’re not the only one who doesn’t take credit for all the hard work they put in.

The hard stuff is not your fault. You can take credit for the good stuff. And somewhere deep
inside you there’s a tiny voice says “you’re doing a great job.” Some days it’s hard to hear, but
some days it rings true.

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