Tuesday, September 17, 2013

the "not good enough" syndrome

EUREKA... we've finally found a school for our son, i'm not sure if the verb "find" describes it best, but anyhow our son now is officially a student at an elementary school for the school year of 2013-2014 and yesterday we bought his uniform...

how cute is that? am i over-reacting or is it one of these unmentioned traditions of mothers to keep folding and unfolding her son's first school uniform? i keep staring at it admiring its beauty (the frog hanger is old, it's wasn't part of yesterday's purchase)!!! this brought back memories of my first pregnancy when i used to fold and unfold, wash and rewash, smell and kiss my baby's cloths anticipating his arrival to this world, when he'll be an official inhabitant of this planet, a visible one i mean... so now the clothes i'm admiring are a bit bigger and soon will become a bit dirtier than babies' onesies

when i was pregnant with little P. i started what i now call the "not good enough" syndrome of most parents, no food was good enough for me to eat, nutritious enough for the bundle of joy (bundle of cells actually) growing inside of me. no gynecologist was skilled enough to follow up on my pregnancy, no hospital was professional enough to witness my son's great entrance to the world (with a red carpet and paparazzi), no outfit was cute enough to embrace my newborn, no bottle was soft enough to make up for my poor lactation, no rattle was soft enough to be held by my son's adorable palm... it got more serious after a while when no country was safe enough for me to raise my child in... and then i dared to voice the most serious one: maybe I am NOT good enough of a MOTHER for my own son...

so this insanity had to stop, when i hit that cord i could hear how ugly the music that came out was... and this did stop, only for a while, it all surfaced back again when i got pregnant with our daughter and off i went with my husband on a search for a nursery or daycare center for our son... you have to agree with me on this one, honestly, no place was child-friendly enough for my son to go to, no nanny was trustworthy enough to look after my son for a few hours during the day, i have to be trusted on that one simply because i'm a professional in THIS particular area. when we attended interviews and visited so many daycare centers, the staff there thought that WE're being interviewed so they can accept our son or not, but the truth was the exact opposite, THEY were the ones being interviewed as i paid attention to every single detail said and every single thing present in that space... my eyes could quickly scan the place as i went through my mental check list of what's educationally correct and incorrect from the security of the front gate to the bathrooms to the pictures on walls to the tiny chairs, the playground, staff faces, amount of light, toys, hygiene, you name it.

i applied the "not good enough" test for our pediatric, toilet training technique, diaper rash cream, soother, car seat... etc. as i got more comfortable in my own mama skin i started to ignore some things, let go of bits and pieces of my perfectionism, well hello, perfectionism is the exact enemy or opposite to motherhood and parenting, thus i started to heal and recover from the "not good enough" syndrome... only for a while

when my toddler turned into a pre-schooler and we started to look for good schools for him... exactly! no school was good enough for him. this was the new highlight of our current era under which came teachers, kids (new friends), curricula, classrooms, also backpacks and lunch boxes.... and even mothers-of-potential-friends who for me are also potential-female-friends!!!!

so i'm trying to re-sharpen my skills of acceptance, gratitude, and surrender knowing that we did our best selecting this school for our son's coming academic year, and that God knows what's best for P's academic and educational future, so why spoil the excitement and celebration with fear and worry? instead let's go shopping for some black shoes and white socks... more items for me to hug, smell, and kiss... no wait, maybe i'll just stare at these two specific items and take few pictures too.