It’s so easy to let guilt consume me. Lately I’ve become accustomed to side stepping it by taking baby steps in the long list of things I should be doing. I feel guilt looming nearby like a shadow in part due to the amazing yet overwhelming amount of advice I now have for Landon.
I have been reaching out to anyone with any expertise in the fields of what Landon faces for advice. Kindly I have received an amazing list of things to do for her, but it’s left me feeling like I am a slacker anytime I’m not working on developing her senses or anytime I relax rather than research. Rare syndromes are just that…. rarely talked about, rarely understood, and there are rare bits of information on what to do when your child is an infant. So I’ve turned to trusted friends. Currently I am playing her talk radio loudly from my iPhone (must be a deep man’s voice so I’ve chosen NPR), I’ve bought sign language flash cards, bows for her future soft-bands that her hearing aid will attach to, and I’ve left 4 messages today trying to get the Clark School coordinator to call me back. Oh and b/c Bo was out of town this past weekend…..working with only the sleep from last night and what can be summed up as little naps from the past 3 days.
The chaos that my living room houses emerged from this quiet morning where I sat and watched some Today show and cradled her in peace. Then the shadow of guilt appeared and I frantically started doing things. I feel like I have to talk to her all the time, or play music and listen to talk radio (a hearing related thing…), read to her, sing to her. Research…. everything. There is also the list of normal mom stuff like tummy time, is she breathing?! is she hot or is she cold? And breastfeeding is just plain hard. I’ve had to start supplementing- but which formula? Now she’s not gaining enough weight all the sudden and I need to add rice cereal to her bottles. The list… goes on. So I find 30 minutes between feedings and sit here in silence to rest and there it is again….. the creeping thought that I can’t rest. How can you not be doing anything? She’s awake- do something for her!
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want the advice to stop. It’s just that I worry that I’m not doing enough. I worry that all the time.
Why do women let this happen? I don’t see Bo fretting that when he sits with her he’s not doing enough? Women have this extra gene I think. As if Landon is going to grow up and say that we didn’t do enough activities when she was 1 month old.
I have to keep saying this out loud- all I can do is my best each day. Great, now I’m that girl that talks to herself. Guilt can really consume you if you let it. I think it must be really easy as a mom to feel guilty- when you do anything for yourself for instance. I look at my little girl’s teeny face though and I know that I am her mother for a reason. She knows that I love her and somehow I think she knows I’m doing my best. I need to feel confident that I am built of the stuff it’ll take to be there for her in every way. All the research and information I need to guide her… it’ll come.
We all need to find ways not to let guilt get us down. Take baby steps in our day to avoid it. Stay focused on one thing at a time…. and be kind to ourselves. I plan to be kind to myself tonight and watch The Voice while she’s in her little chair and enjoy some peace.