As for every other aspect of maternity, we don’t know what personality our child will have. We all dream of a lovely baby who only cries when they need something and who can easily be calmed down and you might get lucky… But others will have a child who suffers from colic, gastric reflux or other medical issues. Some babies have “intense needs” and cry for hours every day and no one can satisfy them. This situation can cause suffering and give you a feeling of worthlessness, especially if it happens regularly.
Nevertheless, we must adapt to their ways of showing their needs! Adapting to the temper of our child may take some time, especially if they do not meet our expectations. In this case we must forget about the ideal baby… and one day, we will accept them and things will be better!
What also helps is to realize that we are not responsible for our baby’s temper. If you doubt that babies are born with their own temper, ask the mother of twins and she will tell you how different they were from the beginning. It doesn’t mean that we have no impact on our child! Of course, our perception of the situations, our emotions and reactions influence our child and that is why we should take good care of our emotional state.
Each mother-child relationship is unique and begins long before our child is born.
Remember the time when you desired a child or your thoughts when you realized that you were pregnant. Not to mention your pregnancy and labor…
- Did you want a child?
- How did you react to the news?
- What physical and psychological state were you when you were pregnant?
- How did the delivery go?
- How was your first contact?
- Do you adapt easily to your child’s temper?
Each of those steps was influenced by thoughts and emotions… Each of those steps is part of your lives and of your relationship with your child.
Regret and guilt
Many of you regret some thoughts, emotions or reactions. You wish things had been different and you are afraid of the consequences on your child or on your relationship. Or you feel guilty and you want to fix the “wrongs” that you think you have caused to your child.
Is there a thought or a reaction that you had related to your child and you still couldn’t forgive yourself?
If you have regrets or if you are feeling guilty, it is important to try to forgive yourself and to accept what you have been through. Remember that you acted to the best of your knowledge and that you had no bad intentions. Make peace with the past to avoid dragging this energy into your relationship with your child. Your guilt could influence your behavior or make you feel even guiltier when your child will go through tough times.
To begin feeling better, I suggest an exercise that is in my book. Write a letter to your child and express your regrets, your emotions, your deceptions and the way you feel as a mother. Avoid censorship so that it is truly liberating and once you are done throw the letter away!