I was just wondering if anyone struggles with this. I struggle with this A LOT, like, to the point where I am considering getting some help for it. I lost a baby at 34 weeks before my dd and one at 20 weeks after my dd, and I often feel like it made me feel like I have to be the "perfect" mom to the one I have.
Everything that doesn't go smoothly, I instantly blame myself and think I am doing it wrong. If you read my post about my daughter being very attached to me, that is a good example. I now feel like I wish I had done things differently when she was younger. I constantly question myself.
I guess I was just wondering if anyone else struggles with this, and if anyone has any tips for dealing with it.
Some days I do others I don't, the older they get the less I worry. My oldest had, well has, a difficult personality: rather explosive, needs structure and to be kept busy all day, any hunger, tiredness, or not enough time outside and he's even worse. I thought I failed him those crucial first few years somehow - not close enough discipline or something - people even told me or hinted at that a lot. But really they keep growing after age 5 and they all have their own personalities that are largely innate. He was at his worst until almost 5.5 years, but with me structuring his day in ways that worked for him and him starting to get in control of his own will, he's coming into his own quite well. I'm sure you and your daughter will start to overcome her challenges in a similar way soon enough.
My younger son has been easier, more average in temperament. He's slow to speak but great at letters and music. He's cuddly and joyful a lot of the time. He's not yet 3 and I have a feeling his personality and will too will be at its strongest once he's 4-5. Right now our biggest issues are him constantly wanting messy art supplies out and to get out his own food and use it wastefully.
I think everyone struggles with this at least a little. I know this isn't the question you asked but I would encourage you to seek counseling. I put it off for myself and I wish I had started sooner. It has helped me, my marriage, my children. You are worth it! You are ahead of most of us as you already know a large part of what is likely the root of your issues. I hope you take time to make yourself a priority and heal from the losses in your life.
Agree with pbjmama. When my dd was six months old and I was meeting a lot of other new parents, it seemed like everyone I knew was either considering therapy or actually in it, because of second guessing themselves as parents and just adjusting to parenthood generally. I know it took me a while to develop confidence in my own parenting abilities. I think therapy would help anyone who is feeling this way, especially someone who had experienced such devastating losses. It's easy to hear someone say "Don't second guess yourself, you're doing fine," but sometimes it's worthwhile to explore things at a deeper level. Very therapeutic. :)
OP, I could have written your post--including the part about your child being sandwiched in between two losses (and please accept my heartfelt sympathy for yours) and the impact that has on how you parent. I have found therapy tremendously helpful for such concerns and lack of confidence.
Something that I try to keep in mind is that temperament is a major factor in how children "turn out." I am an only child and I have an only child, so it is not as obvious to me as it is to parents of multiple kiddos that what we decide and do as parents is only so much of an influence. My two nieces, for example, are totally different in every way, so I think it was a little easier for their parents to realize that they were destined to be different and that their flaws and quirks were not a result of parenting missteps. I don't know if that will resonate with you as I'm not sure how old your DD is--now that my son is 6, there are times that I wonder if I have "made" him so highly sensitive, or physically cautious--or if we had provided different or fewer toys, would he be more interested in x and less interested in y...you get the idea. Then when I think about how having more kids would probably illustrate that many such traits and tendencies are innate, I grieve again that I have just the one (although I am happy with an only). It's a very painful cycle.
Even from your brief post, I get the impression that you are very self-aware and conscientious. Do you have a friend or friends to discuss parenting issues with in real life? Talking things through can help me feel more secure in what I am doing.
Good luck to you!
I'm very sorry for your losses. I can definitely see how having an only would make you seriously question yourself. My 7yo daughter is extremely asocial/introverted, and even with a social-butterfly older brother I often wonder if being homeschooled and living in the wilderness is causing this. I'm sure it's much worse when you can't see that your parenting isn't causing the same behavior in other children. I also vividly remember how terrible I felt every time my first cried and wouldn't be soothed. I see now that babies cry, a lot of times only the Goddess knows why, and it doesn't in fact scar them for life.
I don't think the doubts ever go away entirely. 9yrs and 4 kids after I started this whole parenting thing and I still think at least twice a day that I'm probably scarring them for life, lol.
I'm the opposite. I have a 7 y/o and a 2 y/o, both very attached as babies and toddlers (dd still is). I'm so glad and thankful I learned about attachment parenting, co-sleeping, full time nursing and natural birth before I had my kids! Now my 7 y/o is very independent, at 4 went to school and never looked back, he spends summer vacations with grandparents (and asks to do it again).
Hold your dd close, sooner or later she'll spread her wings.
Sorry for your losses, I can't imagine what you went through.