It seems that for every great triumph in a mother’s world, there is a subsequent downfall of crashing guilt. Shortly after she finds a moment to feel good about, a moment of fearful misgivings seems to chase it down. When did life get to be so complicated, so uncertain and filled with so many concerns? In all of my days I cannot remember a time when my personal sense of progress was so very start and stop. The flow that I once counted on to gravitate from one “accomplishment” to the next was now halted by arresting thoughts of doubt, “Did I make the right decision?” “Was I too hard on her?” “Will he ever forgive me?” Oh to be free from this swinging madness! I used to blindly succumb to the motion of it all, plunging from high to low while never really giving any thought as to why I was feeling this way. It could be because it all came on so suddenly that its influence captured my focus. Or maybe it was because life was so full, who had the time to sit and think anyway? lol Honestly, would the “why” even matter if it was not going to change anything anyway? Remarkably yes, it would, and yes it does!
You see the tasks that you once did regularly are now shallow in comparison. Navigating life then had much less immediate reverberations. Now issues of discipline and reward, establishing a strong sense of self and independent thinking seem to hinge on a mother’s daily choices. The real deal is that you are shaping lives and molding character traits that will be the resources your children use to navigate this life. No longer do my simple everyday deeds affect myself alone. I can think of no work that is more impacting, more “permanent” then the work of raising, teaching, and guiding a child.
So in the end I would actually be a little concerned if there was NO questioning, worrying and yes, even second-guessing . Because you know what? We are human and we are going to blow it at times. But the fact that we don’t want to… well that is what makes us great moms. The wrangling in our thoughts and arresting concern in our hearts reveal our earnest desire to do well by these impressionable minds to make sure we give them the very best we can. And even though this may cause swinging from tear flooding joy to piercing concern, it is worth it. This understanding doesn’t alleviate the ebbs and flows of motherhood, but rather normalizes it enough to let you know that you’re on the right track, you’re not alone and maybe most importantly, you care enough to worry making that “why” a pretty good one if you ask me.