The best thing about having growing children is that, with them, you grow too. If you allow yourself the opportunity, with your children, you get older and, hopefully, wiser. Things that once seemed so important just aren’t important anymore.
Like with my first daughter, I was obsessed, at one point early in her newborn months, with measuring my “success” as a mom by her fecal outputs. So, every day, I would track what she’d poop on excel sheets and fret about changes in consistency, color, and frequency.
I know now that doing this was not normal but for the longest I could not really figure out why. I mean I knew it was impractical. That using excel sheets in motherhood as if your baby will someday be the topic of a Monday morning status meeting is inappropriate. But I didn’t really know why or why I did this and what doing this really said about me as a human being.
Part of being a parent, a secure parent, is trusting that what you’re doing now is worth something good and that you can, in fact, do this. And do it well. To be a secure parent, you have to be a secure human being. You have to be secure in yourself and your worth and the idea that everything you choose to do with your children is because you chose to do it.
Trust. That’s the word that comes to mind when I think of what changed in me between the four year gap between child 1 and child 3. I think with age and maturity, when my third daughter came into our lives, I had that, or I had trust.
I trust more in the universe, and in the worthiness and very possible, yet, monumental and sometimes treacherous task of raising children.
I thought poop was my stand in for trust. I thought so long as the poop was right, I was right, doing it right.
But I was so wrong.
Your success in motherhood can’t be measured that way, not by poop or any other thing you can legibly record on paper.
You success in motherhood can be measured only in your heart.
You trust at some point that you’re doing it right because it feels right. And this works because by some point, maybe with five years or maybe three kids in motherhood you realize that you can trust your own feelings.
You trust that you are wise, wise enough to know when your child needs to be held or put down. You trust where they should sleep and how and that if they don’t poop for a day or if that poop is like pellets it will be okay, that you know what to do. Increase their fluids and wait. It will get better.
You can’t get here by studying the numbers. Trust me, I’ve tried. You only get here with some combination of time, acceptance, and self love. That’s it.
My daughter is one today. Yeah. I don’t really know how this happened either. But I do know that I am thankful for this day and how far my family and I have come in this past year with her in our lives.