part forum. part confession. part celebration.

9. I’m Afraid We’ve Ruined Her Already June 25, 2011

Filed under: Story — somemother @ 10:11 pm
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ESTABLISHING YOURSELF (a few details that help somemothers know what they have in common with you).

I am 32 years old.

I am married.

I have 1 child.  She is 3 months old.

I usually work part-time, when I’m not on maternity leave.

I am lower-middle.

I live rural, but grew up urban.

I own.

I completed an undergrad degree.

I am straight.

Of note about my ethnicity and/or cultural background:  I’m about as Canadian as you can get.


  1. The most significant aspect of my upbringing.It would have to be the impact my grandma had on my life.  There were plenty of ups and downs, but she was constant.  She was a strong woman who set an example of strong faith and strong love.  And she gave the best hugs of anyone I’ve ever known.
  2. My best advice to mothers about to enter the stage of child rearing that I just went through. Take the time you need to heal after labour and delivery.  Everyone can meet the baby later, she’s not going anywhere!  Take as much help as you can get, spend as much time as you can in bed with your baby, and rest rest rest!
  3. Something that concerns me about my child. She sleeps a lot during the day… I know, I’m sure there are plenty of moms who WISH their baby would sleep a lot during the day, but every time she takes a nap I envision another hour in the middle of the night that I’ll be dealing with a fussy baby (which actually seldom happens).  Though I honestly wouldn’t know what to do with her if she was awake all day and I’d probably just start worrying about that.
  4. My absolute worst mothering moment (so far).  The days I’m too tired and don’t feel like mothering.  I really don’t want to be that kind of mom.
  5. What annoys me most about other mothers.  The apparent lack of empathy.  For some reason “empathy” in mommyland seems to be expressed as “let me tell you how much worse my life is and why you have no reason to complain.  Baby isn’t sleeping well?  Well you’re lucky he sleeps at all, MY baby didn’t sleep a wink for the first 13 years of his life”.  It’s like it’s a mommy version of our parents’ “when I was your age, I had to walk to school barefoot, uphill, both ways, in the snow, with my seven brothers and sisters on my back…”.  Since we’ve all been through hard mommy days, let’s just say “ooh, that’s hard.  Don’t worry, it’ll pass” instead of trying to out-do each other’s war stories, ok?
  6. I am happiest when.  We’ve all had enough sleep.  Oh how happiness reigns in this house after a good night’s sleep!
  7. I am saddest when.  I think of the people she won’t meet and won’t get to have the impact on her that they had on me.
  8. My biggest fear.  I’m afraid we’ve ruined her already.  We had a rocky start and I’m afraid she’ll grow up insecure and timid because of the instability of her first few months.
  9. I am ashamed of.  My selfishness.  Aren’t mothers supposed to be naturally selfless and sacrificial?  Sometimes I’d still rather watch TV than interact with my beautiful daughter.  It’s awful.
  10. Something I need to forgive.  Myself and my husband, in advance, for not being the perfect parents I wish we could be.
  11. Something I wish I could say to someone.  I need help.  Lots of it.  Every day.  But I don’t know how to ask for it.
  12. Something I have never told anyone.  I always wanted to have kids.  I just said I didn’t because I didn’t want to get my hopes up or have people feel sorry for me if it didn’t happen.
  13. Something I am trying to change about myself.  I’m trying to learn to ask for help.  I’m trying to let go of my fears about ruining her and just focus on loving her instead.  I’m trying to go easier on my husband since I know he just seems more irritating because I’m so tired.
  14. My biggest accomplishment.  As cheesy and new-mothery as it sounds, my biggest accomplishment is having my daughter.  Three months ago, I would have said graduating college or my career or something like that, but seriously, pushing that kid out is by far the biggest, baddest thing I’ve ever done!
  15. I wish.  Our families were closer.  Or even just one family member.  Or just a nice group of mommy friends nearby… I wish for company.
  16. Something my relationship with my mother has taught me about parenting.  Hugs heal.
  17. Something my relationship with my father has taught me about parenting.  It’s never too late to start getting it right.
  18. How I would describe my faith life.  It’s an anchor, it grounds me to something solid when life is trying to throw me overboard.
  19. Something I hope will be different for me by this time next year.  I hope I’ll have figured out SOMETHING about how to be a mom!  I hope we’ll have all settled into our new family, I hope my daughter will be happy and healthy, I hope my husband and I will have time for each other, and I hope my brain will come back to me!
  20. Something important about my story that hasn’t been captured by the questions above.  You know how everyone always says “I can’t even remember what life was like before my child came along…”?  I can.  I remember it well – I slept more then.  My husband and I snuggled up on the couch and watched movies together.  We went on dates.  We travelled on the spur of the moment.  I called my friends (and didn’t talk about poop!).  I read books.  I used my brain for nobler purposes than keeping track of feeding and bathing and poop.  But, despite missing all that, I still like life better now that she’s in it.
  21. BONUS: A question you would like to see added to this list that readers can respond to in the comments. What are your dreams for your children?  What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were a new parent?  How has your child(ren) changed you?