when we were driving to the hospital and my contractions had very few minutes between them, i just talked to myself aloud, saying, "you can do this. you've done this before. you're going to have a baby after all this is over. you can do this." etc, etc. it worked for me. but after i had avery, the chanting aloud stopped of course.
after describing my frustration with avery, someone said to me recently, "you really have such a good baby - there are much more difficult babies out there." i think it was meant to encourage me but it made me feel like i shouldn't have these feelings of frustration when avery won't nap or when she's crying incessantly in the evening because i KNOW that she's a good baby. i KNOW that there are much, much, MUCH more difficult babies and here i am upset with my healthy, beautiful, smiling girl. the guilt of this is skyrocketing. but you know what? the knowledge that i have it good doesn't make the frustration go away because my frustration isn't with avery. my frustration is usually with myself. why haven't i figured out why she's crying? i can't i figure out why her feeding is so frantic? why didn't i trust myself to know that she needed to sleep earlier and now i'm paying for it with so much overtired screaming? why do i care what someone else is thinking of me?
if you're a mother, you've been here. and it's occurred to me that perhaps my encouragement chanting shouldn't have stopped with avery's birth. verbally encouraging ourselves may be just what we need. so to all the moms out there, here's what i want you to know:
you're doing a good job. don't second guess yourself based on the comments of others - you know your baby better than they do. it's okay to be frustrated. you're doing a good job. this is just a phase. it's okay not to know. you're doing a good job. trust yourself. you're a good mom even though it doesn't feel like it right now. you're doing a good job. soon, this will be a distant memory. it's okay to cry. you're doing a good job. don't worry that you sound crazy - you know what's best for your baby. it's going to get better. don't forget, that baby is worth every tear shed and every sleepless night. you're doing a good job.