Every day I feel like I'm the best mom in the world. And every day I feel like I'm the worst. Yesterday evening when I got in from work my sweet Ryder was happily playing on the floor while watching "How It's Made" on tv. What? He likes the colors. Don't judge. You know your kids are parked in front of the boob tube watching Elmo or Spongebob or :::shudder::: The Wiggles. Creepy. But my baby was excited to see me, babbling and smiling and drooling hello. Couldn't wait for me to pick him up so he attempted crawling to me. He can hump up on all fours and stick his butt in the air, scoot forward a little bit on his knees but other than that, no decent amount of forward motion. When he couldn't get to me, he bawled. Even though he was upset, it made me feel like a celebrity. Rock star mom!
Fast forward to bedtime. Ryder is tuckered out, has nursed to contentment and is snoring softly on my shoulder. Until I put him in his crib. Then the wailing begins. Loud wailing. So loud I wonder if the neighbors can hear it, and if so, will they be calling CPS? After an eternity of heartrending sobs (two minutes) I put my hand on Ryder's chest, patting and shushing him. He gives me a look that says "How could you, Mom? Why did you rip me away from the warmth of your body and the comfort of hearing your heartbeat?". I cave, pick him up. We repeat this scenario several more times until Ryder's exhausted from crying and passes out. I'm almost too exhausted to pour a Maker's Mark & water. Worst mother in the world.
In all seriousness, each day I soar between feeling ultra-confident in my parenting abilities and being despondent at how little I can do right. Every time I rejoice in some developmental goal met by Ryder there is a list in a baby book telling me all the things he should be able to do at his age, but isn't. Self doubt will kick in before I reach the end of the paragraph. Should I be doing more? What about baby signing? Reading to him? Speaking in Spanish as well as English and sign language?
And nursing goes hand in hand with my highs and lows. One day I'm making a decent amount of milk, the next day Ryder's getting a formula supplement. It's taken six months for me to finally be (almost) guilt free. I wish my body could support my baby's total dietary needs but it just doesn't make enough all the time. I'm satisfied that on most days I can produce just enough. It's happy, happy me when I come home with 11oz for Ryder's next day meals. No extra, but enough. We don't have bags of frozen milk in our freezer but my baby has had mainly breastmilk for six months. I'm good.
Another Austin mom who empathizes with my special brand of crazy when it comes to motherhood put it into perspective for me. "At least we aren't Octomom", said Chelsea. My worries come to a screeching halt when I compare myself to that trainwreck of a mother. Yup. Could be a whole lot worse.