Monday, March 14, 2011

Walk it Out... Or Maybe Not

When Paige pulled herself up for the first time at 9 months, and started cruising around (walking while holding onto things)a few weeks later, I figured walking would soon follow. I mean, isn't that the logical next step? Well... Miss Paige had other plans. 11 months, 12 months, 13 months... no walking. She was very content cruising her way around the house, and dropping down to a quick crawl if there wasn't a clear path of "handles" that led to her destination. She could stand on her own for a significant amount of time. Dance. Bend over and pick something up from standing. But walking? Not so much. We're now at 14 and a half months... 2 weeks away from the "deadline" of normalcy that my doctor offered up... and she is FINALLY taking steps on her own. (Cue the angles singing...) HALLELUJAH! I wouldn't quite classify her as walking yet, but she is definitely taking three or four steps at a time on her own, then tumbling over. Luckily she doesn't seem too phased by falling, and it certainly isn't dampening her spirit for movement.

However, this walking thing - or lack there of - has seriously stressed me out. Everyone tells me it shouldn't, but it really has. I of course jump to the instant conclusion that I'm not doing something right. You know what I mean... that feeling that creeps over you when you are overly tired, haven't taken a shower in two days, and just got smacked in the side of the head with a flying piece of apple? That little voice that says, "Um. You kind of suck as a mom." A classic case of mommy guilt. I think to myself - "Jeez! I stay home with her. Play with her, read to her, teach her all day long. Why can't I figure out how to teach her to walk??"

What is it about us mamas that makes us personally burden every little negative thing (or things perceived as negative) that arises, as if we did something to create it, deserve it, etc.? From day one, it's always something. She isn't breastfeeding? Must be me. She is crying? Must be me. She keeps waking up in the middle of the night? Must be me. And then we wrack our brains trying to figure out what we did, and how we could do things differently next time for a better result. And no matter how supportive our spouses, friends and families are... no matter how many people tell us that everything is ok and totally normal... we still walk around thinking we're not doing enough, doing it right, or keeping up our end of the deal as "Mommy of the Year."

It's weird because I've never been one of those mamas who thinks everything has to be perfect. I pretty much go with the flow on any given day and don't get too worked up over the little things. But even I am struck with regular spells of mommy guilt. You would think if you told yourself "things aren't going to be perfect..." then you could build up immunity to mommy guilt. But you can't. And that's why God created Chardonnay : ) Just kidding... kind of.