Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Failing already

I have never been comfortable with failure. From what I have gathered (from anecdotal evidence, of course), motherhood is basically a never ending series of failures and guilt. Starting from conception.

Let me back up. When we first found out that SharkBean was on the way, I had already started reading "What to Expect When You're Expecting, 4th Edition", which is like *the* book to read, or so I've heard.

While it's incredibly helpful about pointing out What Could Go Wrong When You're Expecting, it felt more like What You're ALREADY Doing Wrong to Completely Fail Your Child. Or maybe that's my interpretation- since I read what *could* go wrong, and I tend to jump to "that WILL go wrong". That might be my personal brand of crazy, though.

I read "What to Expect" in short bursts, get well ahead of where I am, and put it down in favor of something else. Since we started Bradley classes this week, I thought I would get a jump on class by reading "Natural Childbirth the Bradley Way". I know. I'm a nerd, the sky is blue, grass is green, and all three statements are obvious. (Who else shows up to a birthing class having read the book already?! This gal.)

I got to the nutrition section, and I got hammered with Mommy Guilt. I eat a balanced diet, but I could stand to eat more leafy greens. We all could. (Except Mom. She gets a pass on excessive leafy greens. See: Vitamin K and cardiac patients.)

Since I like to share all of my crazy with her, she is lucky enough to be subjected to my Freakout of the Day(tm). She usually thinks it's funny. Today she pointed out that - while she ate nutritious food - she didn't really count servings of leafy greens or protein. "... and look at how well you and your brother turned out!"

I'll admit, it made me feel better.

Other things that I have felt like I was already failing SharkBean at:

- Talking to her. I don't, other than to say things like, "SERIOUSLY?! Could you ease up on using your elbows?!"
- Singing to her. This kid has gotten an eclectic mix of whatever I'm in the mood to listen to. Including stuff that holds an "R" rating.
- Finishing her sweaters. I can just hear her little voice now, "My mom is a process knitter."


  1. Love this post! I felt the same way...but I just want to say..I think you are already an amazing mom because you care! :)

    And I didn't talk that much to CGR when she was in my belly other than to tell her to stop playing soccer! Also she didn't get to listen to any classical music that wasn't a part of what I was listening to in the car or at home. She came out fine and is a smartie pants! So, don't stress! Just do your best and because you care you'll do great!

  2. I've heard awful things about the "What to expect books". Lots of things to make you scared. Not that an expecting mother needs any help. And you are far from alone with reading everything you can find, even before you need it. I've read a lot of these books already and I'm not even pregnant!!

  3. That book can be really scary. With my second baby I just looked at the drawing of what the baby was looking like each week. I stopped reading about what could go wrong. #1-keep stress under control, #2-Eat well, but allow yourself the occasional craving indulgence. #3-Keep moving if you can. Also, I hated because there are too many scary stories. I loved They are short and to the point with great information. You look great-you're such a petit pregnant person. Lucky you!

  4. If you want a laugh read the amazon reviews on "what to expect" and you will see from one dad how the whole book made his wife miserable.

    I preferred the Mayo Guide to Pregnancy which was much more relate-able and not so gloom and doom.

  5. I was on massive doses of painkillers, had a party where I may or may not have indulged in both sushi and wine.
    Right before finding out I was 3 weeks or so pregnant.
    And LOOK at her now!

    Bright, smart, pretty and no extra toes or appendages.

    The Boy, I existed on plain white bagels and cream cheese for 4 months because that was all I could keep down.

    White. Carbs!

    Have you seen him lately?

    I rest my case, you are doing AWESOME!

    And yes, ivillage was a lot more fun when it was ParentsPlace and not overrun by some uber-moms.

  6. Hi! I'm new here but not to your podcast and am due to go into labor any day now. Eep! Anyway I found my baby knitting mojo kicked in about halfway through my 3rd trimester. Since then I've been a yarn buying and baby knitting maniac. My baby has it's own stash now and since moving around has gotten difficult/painful I get a lot of knitting done. Hopefully you'll get the baby knitting mojo and not the mobility issues. :)

    With parenthood I think of it less as a series of things to fail at and more as a challenge to get a good overall end result. It doesn't matter how much you fail as long as you put your heart and soul into your child they're going to be good people.

    For books I had the What to Expect book more or less read before I confirmed my pregnancy. I skipped over the scary bits because I figure that is a sign of poor writing skills and that I can find better info elsewhere. Turns out I was right. My midwives suggested Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn and I've found that book very helpful. Also I've had a couple Moms suggest The Happiest Baby on the Block as the methods in the book are great for coping for fussy newborns. I've been reading that one in prep for what is to come and it makes a lot of sense.

  7. Eclectic music and movies- my 4 year old could quote Princess Bride (and did frequently) which impressed her soccer coach to no end. And then there was the time that my 6 year old sang The Lumberjack song when it was her turn to share that morning in school. You can't make this stuff up- think of it as good writing material. You will be an awesome mom because you live out loud, and love the people in your life with all your heart. Can't go wrong with that as a starting place!

  8. Have you ever watched "I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant"? It's ridiculous, but I think it's also a case in point that you don't have to do everything right to wind up with a healthy baby. You're thinking about what you're doing and what you're eating (and what you're not eating, for that matter), so I'm sure you and SharkBean will be just fine!

    As to the sweaters, I predict a massive case of finish-it-up-itis just before SharkBean arrives. I totally got into a crazy nesting stage about two weeks before my daughter was born.

  9. You're not at all failing - you don't need to sing or talk specifically to your baby. She's hearing everything you say, all day long. And sing what makes you happy - those good feelings can only be good for her. You can worry about curbing the language when she can speak English! Enjoy the rest of your pregnancy! You look fantastic!

  10. I don't believe you are failing. I still say that if it is a concern to you that you might be failing, you aren't. Sure, we could all eat healthier.
    Case in point, with my first the only thing I could keep down before noon was mint chocolate chip ice cream. She turned out fine.
    I listened to what I liked and read what I liked and danced to what I liked. I also went to the water slide when I was five months pregnant and yep, I slid. Also a roller coaster. I know, crazy. My point is that my kid turned out fine. She's smart, funny, caring, giving, and empathatic. I don't know what more I could have asked for.

  11. I tend to me a worry wart myself...felt it odd you read not what could go wrong but what will. I tend to look at the symptoms as I have that I have that, but so do most med students. Anyway, about the music. remember what you are listening to, I have heard that what your baby hears now, will be soothng and relatible later. No matter the content ratings..Enjoy.

  12. You are going to be fine - a wonderful baby with two loving parents.

  13. I had to read What to Expect When You Are Expecting. It was too negative for me. I am still reading Ina May's Guide to Childbirth and love it. We started our Bradley class a few weeks ago and love it too. We logged everything we ate for one week and shared it in class the next week. That was a real eye opener. I do have room for improvement and that is what I am focusing on :)


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