I am the only common denominator in the equation that equals my stress. My high levels of new mom stress. My high levels of living-up-to-my-own-self-imposed-standards stress. The momma bear sized knot in my stomach.
I think a lot of it stems from my desire to some how make up for the fact that my body doesn’t function in the “normal” way.
I have found, through my own experiences and conversations with other moms who have endured still-birth, that one of the first instincts is to get pregnant again. There is a hole where there shouldn’t be, an emptiness begging to be filled, a heart prepared to mother. When a pregnancy ends in still-birth (and I’d guess this might be true for miscarriage as well), I think the natural response is to crave a healthy pregnancy. To complete the job you set out to do. At least this was the case for me, but for various reasons, it ain’t happenin’.
My body doesn’t function in the “normal” way because of my car accident as well. The loss of my hand and my back injuries, although mainly overcome and generally laughed about, are still sometimes, in my mind, a visible example of my lacking.
All of this adds up to the desire to compensate. And since being a mother is such a large part of my daily role (happily might I add), this is the area in which my compulsion for perfection is most seen. Squeaks is, and should be, a major focus of mine. But not to the extent that I’ve taken it. We waited for so long. I researched all things baby. I hoped, I daydreamed, I prayed. And now she’s here! My head tells me everything must be perfect for her. She must eat organic, wear cloth diapers, never be uncomfortable, never have a runny nose, and it goes on and on. When a friend or family member does something I might not, or a goal I’ve set doesn’t get accomplished, I get super stressed out. This is a sad state of affairs…for me alone. I think about it, analyzing the possible effects it had on Squeaks’ happiness, and that mama bear knot shows up in my gut.
Do I sound neurotic yet?
Logically, I know Squeaks is a happy, healthy, loved little girl. None of these things hurt her. None of these thing will have long term, or even short term, psychological effects on her. One non-organic cracker is not the end of the world. The diaper goes on her butt, for goodness sake, who cares if it’s always cloth?! A few minutes of TV does not a coach-potato make.
I must remember the most important thing of all though. She’s not mine.
On this earth, in this life, I am blessed to be Squeaks’ mom. Proud, exhilarated, humbled to be Squeaks’ mom. But in the eternal sense, she is not mine. She belongs to her heavenly Father. Her future is in His hands. I can do my absolute best for her, love her, care for her, provide for her, but it will never be to the extent that He does. He gives her perfect eternal love. He provides salvation. She is in His hands. I need to stop trying to do His job.