I see you came here last night after Google led you to one post or another of mine. I see you on the forums sobbing and wondering why your body has failed your baby. I hear you as you wonder if maybe someone else should be raising your child because in a moment of frustration you raised your voice at your baby. I see that you’re wondering if you are failing your baby by not training them to sleep by having them Cry It Out at three or six or nine months. I see that you are wondering if you have ruined your child because he will not sleep through the night at one year old while teething.
I don’t know you, but I wish desperately right now that I could wrap you up in a hug. I wish that I could say “Is that all? Oh jeez, mama. You’re not failing. You’re doing WONDERFULLY.” and I wish that I could have a long conversation with you where I could share some perspective, some resources, some hope.
You are not failing your baby.
Don’t ask the question “How can I deal with failing this way?” You are not failing. You do not need to cry your way through failure or make peace with “having failed”.
You need to connect with others similar to you, whose hearts tell them the same things that your heart tells you. Others who have been through what you are going through, not others who claim that parenthood is this perfect seamless easy thing that can be sanitized and wrapped up neatly and tied off with a piece of brightly colored string.
Find your tribe.
If you are “failing” at breastfeeding, seek out active zealous breastfeeding support groups. You may be making TOO much milk. Your baby might have a tongue tie that has gone undiagnosed. Your baby may have a sensitivity to something in your diet that can be changed. Your friend who feeds her baby X number of ounces of breastmilk each day may have serious oversupply and might be overfeeding with a bottle. Your baby might have a perfectly normal dip in weight that his pediatrician may not understand because every perfectly normal baby that he sees that dips in weight ends up supplemented as a matter of course rather than watching the weight to see if it forms a trend. Come to the Breastfeeding Moms Group on Cafemom. I’m a moderator over there and there are a LOT of very wonderful helpful moms that can help you make things work or help you find the peace that you so deserve. If Cafemom isn’t your thing check out r/breastfeeding on Reddit.
If you are “failing” because you had a tantrum and yelled or lashed out.. You understand that yelling is not how you want to parent your little one. You are not “failing”, you were overwhelmed and did not know how else to act in that moment of overwhelm. YOU NEED SUPPORT, not an indictment. You need to learn new ways to cope, new ways to view the situation, new ways to find support. Please reach out to me and I can help you find some resources. Failure comes from trying to do it alone when what you’re doing alone is not working.
If you are “failing” with sleep because your six month old won’t sleep through the night then I’m failing right alongside you. What’s more, I “failed” with my older two children.. Nevermind the fact that they both sleep so very well now. Come join us in the “Wait it Out” support group where we gently and lovingly teach our children to sleep without crying anything out. We can offer you perspective, coping mechanisms, tales of hope and inspiration, suggestions, and understanding where others have only offered you guilt and false prophecy of failure.
Failure looks like neglect, not like love. Like children who are not cared for, not loved, not nurtured. Failure does not look like a mistake. Failure is not a medical condition, failure is not needing to seek help and support, failure is not “doing things differently than how you wanted”. Failure does not take its form in your child’s unique personality or needs.
Chances are so very good that you are not “failing”, you are being failed. Your current system of support is failing you.
Find your tribe. Find those moms that have been where you are now. Find all those different options to explore.
When you’ve done the legwork and know the options and have tried the ones that are try-able, then you walk away having made choices not having “failed”.
You are not a failure. You’re a mother. You are strong. You love deeply. And very few mothers are ever one hundred percent of everything that they wanted to be.
Seek knowledge. Know your options. Embrace support. Find your tribe. Above all, though, know that a loving choice made with the knowledge that you have at the time.. Is never a wrong choice. Be gentle with yourself.
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- Skylar on Twenty Months, Canines and Self Settling (Sort Of)
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- Daria on Twenty Months, Canines and Self Settling (Sort Of)
- Tiffany on Are You a Gentle Parent or are you Trying to be a Gentle Parent?
Quotables“Many of life’s failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” ~Thomas Edison