When my first son was born, I read every book published regarding newborns and how one should parent to have a happy, healthy baby. Of course, most of the information I attained was forgotten shortly after his birth, so once he arrived I felt like I was in another dimension.Where was this little angel everyone told me about? I thought there was supposed to be a honeymoon phase?
As he grew older, and became more independent, it became even harder. I found my patience being tested daily. There were times I lost my cool and then would wallow in guilt. I hated raising my voice, putting him in time-out or hearing him cry. I often questioned if I was cut out for this new role I once was so excited to take on. I cried a lot and I judged myself, hard.
In public, my friends raved about how their babies slept through the night, ate well and hardly ever cried. They bragged about how they couldn’t wait to have another one and that being a mother was so amazing. I, on the other hand, would just listen intently as I didn’t want to say what I was really thinking: My baby is a nightmare most of the time and, apparently, I’m no good at this mom thing.
On the verge of a Mommy breakdown, I turned to the Internet; I couldn’t be the only one who struggled with managing these little minions, right? So I started reading Mommy blogs and joined a few online parenting groups who shared their stories, gave advice and encouragement, but most importantly they told the truth: Parenting is difficult, and unfortunately, there are days you want a reset button. As much as you love your kids, there will be days you don’t like them too – and that’s normal. Having thousands of other parents at my disposal online was truly a lifesaver.
I don’t know how I would have made it through the last three years if it weren’t for my virtual friends, blogs and parenting groups on Facebook. Throughout my journey they have made me laugh, helped me potty train, warned me about the normal behaviors of a toddler and, most importantly, they made me realize that maybe I’m not such a bad mom after all.