It's real. It's vicious. And it's raging at 11 PM. And no it's not pregnancy cravings.
It's mom guilt.
As Emerson wakes up for the 15th time since I put her to bed, I lay in my room another night battling scenarios in my head. Maybe she keeps waking up because dinner was too spicy and she has a tummy ache? Maybe she is having some sort of allergic reaction? Maybe she had a bad dream and needs some comfort? Is it too warm in her room? Is it too cold? I assure you this is only a picture of the thoughts that roll through my head when Emmy cries.
Every time I have fallen asleep tonight, Emerson seems to cry out. I don't think the girl even needs sleep. If it weren't for the case of temper tantrums she throws when she is overtired and you tell her no, if you let her do what she wants and play, the girl is perfectly content to never nap. And beyond that, she is still her typical smile and wave to everyone I see self.
The reason she is up tonight is probably because she refused to take an afternoon nap and is overtired. Another explanation could be she has her daddy's weird sleep disfunction and will be a sleep talker and walker.
Even with two logical explanations, I feel guilty still. That I must not be a good enough mom if my baby still has nights where she just doesn't want to sleep. Or I should have left her in her crib this afternoon until she fell asleep.
After an hour of tossing, turning, and crying, I am wanting to jump on board and do the same. I went in to check on her and she was fine. Laughing, asking to read a book, and giving kisses. So what do you do besides close the door and hope somehow I can stop hearing her cry and fall asleep?
I'm really trying to put aside the mommy guilt. Especially since I have enough to worry about with a new baby on the way too! Children definitely don't come with a manual and we have to do the best we can. Every day I pray God can grant me the knowledge I need to raise our children right. And that through the enabling power of the atonement God can make me so much more than what I am able to do on my own.
And God knows we can't do it on our own. He wants us to hand over the guilt about our short falls, about our worries and struggles. I think He made parenting hard so we would have to turn to Him.
Still next time you see me, remind me to drop the mommy guilt.