Sunday, July 20, 2014

Letting Go of the Mom Guilt (Or Trying To)

I've always heard of mom guilt... in jokes, serious conversation, and passing stories. I never knew how real mom guilt was until I became a mom! And we're talking 4 very short months here, so I can only imagine how much mom guilt more experienced parents have dealt with. There is guilt about almost every. little. thing. you do. I've quickly realized that my sanity is more important, and that I will enjoy this parenting adventure a lot more if I can just let go of the guilt. I'm going to call it like I see it. Sometimes, as moms, we do things we aren't super proud of, or we always said we'd never do, and that's just life. I learned that the quickest way for me to do something is to declare, especially publicly, that I'll never do it. Eating your words isn't fun. So now I try to say what I'd like to do or what we'll ideally do, and leave plenty of room for flexibility.

I said my kid would never get formula. Well, that was before chronic low supply, > than 10% weight loss, and tongue and lip tie were thrown at me on day 2. She had formula along with the teeny amount of breast milk I was making until she was 2 weeks old when I was able to source enough donor milk to get her back to being exclusively breast fed. Guess what? She lived! We may have to transition back to some formula depending on how much milk donations we can get, and I know she will be just fine (even if I cry the first bottle lol).

I constantly have guilt over missing pumps (mostly due to my sweet little girl not being able to handle more than 10 minutes without my undivided attention). I still somewhat struggle with this but I look at it this way... is it more important for her to have as much of my milk as possible (yes, important) or the time and comfort she needs from her mommy? To me, the latter is more important so if she's screaming like a banshee, the pump will wait (sadly the plugged ducts won't so I try to keep as much to my pump schedule as possible).

I said my baby wouldn't watch any tv until 2. I would like to stick as closely to this as possible, mainly for the effects it can have on their brain.... not because I want a mom badge. BUT going back to missing pumps, my baby LOVES THE TV. I basically keep it off all the time now because there is no way to have it on for background without her gluing herself to it. BUT if I'm about to miss a 2nd pump in a row and want to avoid aforementioned plugged ducts (and even lower supply than normal), you better believe I have turned the tv on for a few minutes here or there to distract her.

I said I'd wear my baby all the time because it's better for their physical and social development. I do wear her a lot, and I actually really love wearing her.... but... wearing a baby in the summer is HOT. Yes, I have a summer fabric. STILL HOT. Sometimes it is so nice to plop her in the stroller when we go for walks! And sometimes getting the stroller out is no more work than wrangling her into the sling. So hey, if a stroller makes life easier sometimes, then stroller it is.

Basically, I could sit... and have sat!... and stress over all these things, feel guilty, and think I'm not a good enough mom. But I am quickly learning that it is so not worth it. I enjoy my vocation a lot less when I'm sitting here grading myself on my performance. And I enjoy it a lot more when I just snuggle my baby :) .


5 comments:

  1. Mommy Guilt x 6 here (yep, even the one in untero). Just need to keep reminding myself that God doesn’t ask for perfection. He asks for my best and promises to do the rest. He knew how imperfect I was before He gave me these children… He knew perfectly well what He was getting in to. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. She looks adorable. I love that dress. Yes, the guilt. You can make yourself crazy. There is the potential for guilt in every single decision. But that's not a pretty place to be. Do your best, give yourself a break, and be gentle with yourself.

    ReplyDelete
  3. One of my co-workers used to remind me that "you can only do what you can do." I'm the queen of Mommy Guilt (I can't read Sanctimommy because that's what my inner monologue sounds like) and I'll tell you that as long as your kid is alive at the end of the day, you're probably doing ok.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've learned that whatever we do as moms has to be what makes the whole family happy as a whole, so if my toddler misses a nap because we are on vacation, oh well. If we have grilled cheese for dinner because I can't bear the thought of bringing 6 kids to grocery store by myself, so be it. If the older ones watch a movie so I can clean the house before a Baptism party, no big deal. Let go and let God :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. From what I saw this past week, you're a FABULOUS Mom!! Felicity is VERY lucky to have such a loving and devoted Mama!! All you guys are married, on your own and I STILL have Mom guilt!! Welcome to the club, Stacy!! ;-)

    ReplyDelete