Filed under: MummyBloggers
I've come to the conclusion that there is no worse feeling than the feeling of having let your kid down; of coming up short when your parenting skills were called into question; of realising that your efforts just weren't good enough, that you just didn't cut it, that you are a failure as a parent, albeit temporarily.
I hadn't felt like that in a while thankfully - we seemed to have things relatively under control over the past number of years - but complacency won't be long kicking you in the ass. I was recently reminded that as my kids get older and head towards secondary school years, lots of aspects of their lives will be out of my control. They will have to deal with more and more stuff on their own, and I had better get used to the feeling of being completely inadequate and parentally impotent.
I do still remember feeling like that a lot as a new mother. But then it comes with the territory. Like the first time I cut my new baby's fingernails, and managed to cut his precious, tiny little finger in the process. I can't recall which of us cried the louder, but I'm fairly sure it was me, devastated and completely shocked at my own motherly shortcomings.
And there was the first time I took my new baby to meet my own mother for lunch. It was one of our first proper outings, I was very excited. He'd had a touch of constipation, and I had given him some brown sugar dissolved in water to drink from his bottle - an old wives remedy which has stood the test of time because it works. (Note to new parents: it's worth doing it, even just once, to see the look on the other parents' faces in the park as you feed what looks like Coke to your newborn baby LOL.)
When we got to the café, I took him from his car seat to find his entire body coated in green liquid poo, from the tips of his toes to the crown of his head. Oh that sugar water works, alright. Being reduced to washing your newborn baby in the sink of a public loo is a humbling experience, there's no doubt about that.
No doubt I'll feel equally self-assured many times in the coming teenage years.
Sheena Lambert is the mum of two boys from Dublin. Her second novel The Lake is now available from HarperCollins Killer Reads.
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