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Happy Mother's Day from Safe Kids

May 9, 2013
Jane Enright with her children

A colleague of mine was all set to write this Mother’s Day blog. She had her first child three months ago - a beautiful healthy baby boy - and was excited to share her thoughts on her first Mother’s Day. But then the reality of being a brand new mom set in - sleep deprived, new routines, all the standard questions like “When do they start sleeping through the night?"

With all this going on, I offered to let her off the hook and write the blog instead. After all, I thought, I’m an old pro at this motherhood thing. I’ve got two kids (ages 11 and 7), been through colic, broken bones, asthma attacks and more.

And that’s when I realized the one constant about being a mom: just when I start to think I have it all under control, I realize that I don’t.

The truth is I never feel like I know exactly what I’m doing when it comes to raising my kids. I always wonder if I’ve done enough, done it right or remembered to do it at all. I feel like a new mother myself sometimes as I navigate the emotional nuances of a tween girl or the academic development of a first-grade boy.

There was a time when I thought I was the only mom who felt this way. I’d look at my friends and think, “Boy, they really have everything together. What’s wrong with me?”

But the truth is, and here’s the important secret that I’ve learned over the years, these feelings of self-doubt and nervousness are perfectly normal. Any mom who is honest will tell you she feels the exact same way. It’s all part of being a mom, which of course, is agonizing and incredible in all the right ways.

So much is written these days about competitive mothers who compare their children to others and thrive on one-upmanship. Newspaper columns and blogs tell us of the horrors of daycare “diva moms” forever belittling the choices of other parents. And for decades we’ve read about the icy social battlefield of the mommy wars between stay-at-home and working mothers.

But that’s not most of us. I think, like me, most women depend on the advice of a network of women to navigate the ins and outs of this incredible responsibility. We love our children and we love talking about raising them. When mothers want answers, we get them and our most trusted source is usually each other in the form of our neighbor, our sister, our own mother or another mom from school.

Over fences and in elevators, on Facebook and at the park, we chat, seek help, kindly offer our best guesses because that is what mothers do. “I had big problems nursing, too.” “He still isn’t crawling and I’m worried.” “How long do they stay in a booster seat?” “It’s L-I-C-E!” “Call me.” “Me, too.”

We share our stories, our victories and our confessions. We happily offer tips, advice, and encouragement. And we’re there for each other, even if it’s just helping out with a blog

So, to my Sisters in Sainthood, Colleagues at Colic U., Dames of all the Little Details – okay I’ll stop: Happy Mother’s Day, ladies, to all of us.

Jane is the Creative Services Manager at Safe Kids.