The moment my son was born and placed into my arms, I thought three things: I am so in love, I am so exhausted and I am so terrified. The love was intense and the exhaustion was incredible, but the fear was overwhelming. Here was this perfect little human being and I was in charge of keeping him happy and healthy and safe. The thought of making a single mistake was paralyzing. In that moment, it would have been nice to know the things your baby wants you to know about parenting mistakes; things that probably won't remove the fear of messing up, but at least make it more manageable.
For the longest time, I didn't want to have children because I was afraid I wasn't "good enough." I'm so acutely aware of all my flaws, that the thought of adding a kid to the mix just seemed, you know, wrong. I didn't want to let anyone down; I didn't want to mess someone up; I didn't want to raise a human being that was going to look back on their childhood the way I do mine. Then I met my partner and my mind changed and I thought, "Yeah, I can do this. I can be a good mom." I was right — I think I am a good mom — but the fear of failure is still there, always lurking behind every parenting decision I make and always threatening to mess with my head and play on my insecurities.
In the end, I know I'm not perfect and I never will be. I made mistakes before I had my son and I have continued to make mistakes ever since. When I do, I try to step back and gain some perspective (some very necessary perspective). A great way to do that, I'v learned, is to try and view the situation through my son's eyes. Will this "huge" mistake even that big of a deal to my son? Does he even notice? Will this affect him in 2 years? Or 10 years? Or, you know, at all? Sure, I can't know for sure what my baby was thinking, but I'd like to think it was the following and I'd like to think that when every baby watches their parent inevitably mess up, they're all thinking the same things: