i recall being in the thick of raising my four older kids on my own. it was an extremely difficult time in my life. i felt isolated and alone. i'm pretty sure i was suffering from postpartum depression. i was going through a divorce. i was certain that i wasn't qualified to be a parent and i was going to screw my kids up in some irreparable way. i was navigating life with a triple stroller, three car seats and a booster, potty training for four years straight and diapers for even longer! i rolled my eyes when i heard other mothers complain about being unable to manage their one tiny human(often with the help of a husband or partner) and i had no one.
a few weeks ago i had an epiphany of sorts. when the ratio is, at least, one parent to one child you're harder on yourself because you feel like you should be able to do a better job. you feel like you should be able to keep them from melting down in the target checkout line. it shouldn't be difficult to get them to eat your lovingly prepared organic quinoa and veggie bowl. bath time and bed time shouldn't be something you dread all day long because the 35 minutes it should take is drawn out longer than the last 40 minutes of the wolf of wall street! when the kids outnumbered me, i was too busy celebrating the fact that no matter how hellish the day was, i got through it. they got through it. and, none of us were worse for the wear! that's not to say that i didn't worry. i did!! but it wasn't something i thought about daily. there was too much other shit i needed to get done!
so here we are. rowan is 22 months old-whyyyyy is my baby growing up so fast!!!!-and i worry. all. the. time. we just learned that he has a bit of a speech delay. i suspected it but the actual confirmation was brutal. i spend all day with him. i talk to him all the time. we read books and sing songs. what wasn't i doing? or am i doing something wrong? i beat myself up over it for several days because it's what moms do. then i remembered to celebrate the small victories. he can only say a few words but his eyes ight up when he sees me. he gives hugs and kisses abundantly. he'll stop playing and walk over to hold my hand for a few minutes before returning to play. he calms down instantly when his daddy sings to him. he is joy. these are the things i need to savor!
stop beating yourself up, mama. you got this!