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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Forgiving Ourselves

Today I made a mistake...I prematurely pulled out all the garlic from the garden. They seemed too small, but I was going off a comment my farmer made a couple weeks ago. She harvests her garlic around 4th of July as a rule of thumb. We also have been getting garlic at the farm, so I thought it was "time". We checked them on 4th of July weekend and they looked too small, so we said we would wait.

Well, I went outside today and the leaves were browning a bit and I got nervous and pulled them all out. I didn't want them to be sitting in the ground going bad and miss our chance at garlic! After I brought them inside, I thought "oh crap, I don't think they were ready" and then I went online to see when to harvest. Apparently I was supposed to have waited until they were at least 1/3 of the way brown and practically falling over. Woops. I was pretty mad at myself. Why didn't I look it up before being impulsive? Why didn't I just trust what I knew instead of second guessing myself?

So after stewing for a little while on my own stupidity, I shook my head and laughed. It is my first year growing garlic. I am still learning, and next year I will know better! Then I started thinking about that in the context of so many things. The first time I made a pot of beans: I undercooked them and everyone had some interesting digestive responses! The next time I made a pot of beans: mush. The third time got better and so forth. I even made myself plenty sick the first year I started cooking in my early 20's. Especially anytime I had cooked chicken (I cook it a lot longer now)!

Then a light bulb went off and I just had to post: Part of being a new mommy, is allowing yourself to make mistakes as a parent. Wow. Before having children, especially when I was pregnant, I didn't think I would ever say those words. When we have our own kids, we are supposed to do everything better than the way our parents did them, right? We are supposed to know it all? Supposed to be super mom??!?

Well, it just isn't true.

I think the number one thing I learned when I had my first son is that one-size does NOT fit all, and there is no "perfect" mom. That is a hard thing to grasp when you are a type A perfectionist that likes to control the outcome of situations (haha, the old me was sorta like that). But the truth is, you ARE going to mess up. Say it with me now: "I am going to mess up and make mistakes". It is much easier to acknowledge it in the beginning, so that you can laugh at yourself when those mistakes arise.

Funny story. When my son was 3 years old and in pre-school, he asked me where babies come from...I was like "what??" and I was totally unprepared! I thought it was a bit early for him to be wondering those things and I hadn't researched it yet! So in the moment I told him a little white lie (don't judge, we all lie about Santa and the tooth fairy). I said "You know in Dumbo? The stork comes and brings the little baby" and I thought nothing of it. The next day when I came to pick him up from school, I find out my son was practically in an all out brawl with another kid in his class. Apparently his mommy told him that the mommy goes to the hospital to push out the baby. My son was all but yelling at the top of his lungs "No, the stork comes!!!!" Yikes! I knew I messed up and I learned never to lie to my child again when he asks me a question. I was mad at myself for not being prepared, but I corrected it that evening and my son has minimal scars (or so I think). After that incident, I looked up appropriate ways to talk to children at specific ages about babies, sex and our bodies and I learned how to do it better next time. So the point is, that I acknowledged my mistake and tried a different method.

So, when you become a mommy--or perhaps now that you are a new mommy, just know that we have all been through it and we are all doing the best we can. All moms face different challenges because children are all different. One thing is the same and that is that we are ALL challenged! So, do the best you can and take your mistakes in stride. We all make them and our parents did too.

In health and wellness,

1 comment:

  1. Wonderfully said. We all need to learn to give ourselves a break. Their is no super mom, just a bunch of women doing their best.