Wanting to be a great mother is admirable, girls, but come off it. We all started out wanting to be better mothers than ours were. We all wanted to do things perfectly. We all wanted to instinctively know the difference between our children’s fleeting wants and their potentially
life-changing needs like suede moccasins with fringe that would have been so incredibly cool to wear in Junior High and no I would not have stepped on a rock and hurt my feet but rather would have been the baddest 75 lb. sixth grader in my school.
Fortunately each generation of perfection-seeking new moms has (or should have) someone like me from the preceding generation to help you snap out of it and save yourself. Seriously, if your goal as a parent is to do everything right, you will end up on the newest generation of anti-depressants or SSRIs before your second kid has given up his orthodontically-correct pacifier.
Now. Did you see what I did there? Second kid . . . orthodontically-correct pacifier . . . gotcha! If you want to avoid the Cymbalta, that second kid doesn’t get a fancy pacifier, he gets the plain,
cheap one. And if you’re really lucky, you’ll have a kid who’s happy with the two pacifiers God gave him/her—thumbs! A thumb cannot fall on the floor of the bathroom at WalMart. It cannot be eaten by the dog whose vet bill from the sock-eating episode still isn’t paid. It cannot hide between the crib mattress and the wall causing you to fling blankets and stuffed animals to the four corners of the room searching, crawl under the crib three times with a flashlight whose battery died after the first look and send your husband out for another pacifier at 2 a.m. because IT HAS TO BE SOMEWHERE BUT IT’S NOT ANYWHERE AND PLEASE GOD STOP THE SCREAMING.
Relax. Your kids will survive generic cereal. They’ll survive kissing the dog. They’ll be who they’re going to be in spite of your worst mess-ups and best efforts. And when they grow up they will tell you a story about something awesome you did or said that stuck with them and it will be the lamest thing you think you ever did or said and you’ll think “That’s what you think I did right?”