Monday, March 12, 2012

mommy guilt

I thought about just calling this blog post "guilt", because really, I had all sorts of guilt before I was a mom; just different kinds. Sadly, I think many women do. Society/media often paints this picture of what women "should" be; beautiful, intelligent, kind, tough, humble, maternal, strong, sensitive, independent, home maker, sexy, career woman and of course- thin and well dressed. And sadly, though we all know it's pretty much impossible to be all of those things, we often put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to attempt to achieve it all.

Then if you become a mother, add on top of all of that: Do everything you possibly can to have the healthiest, happiest baby possible at all costs.

Lately I'm constantly riddled with the mommy guilt. If I am playing with them and I stop to check my iPhone for something- guilt. You should be paying attention to them all the time! If one of them tips over and bonks their head- guilt. Oh- you're so neglectful! Even if I go to the store and my husband is watching them; I feel guilty if I take too long. He doesn't make me feel guilty of course. No, I do it all to myself. And yes, before you all say, "That's silly. Babies need to play on their own, and they WILL fall and bonk their heads, and for the love of GOD woman; just go to the store! Jeez!" I know all of this. But you know; your brain isn't always in line with what your heart feels.

Most recently the biggest guilt burden I've carried has been surrounding breastfeeding. I won't get in to the ins and outs of all of that in this post, but BOY has it been a roller coaster ride. I love breastfeeding. So much. But the girls are starting to show signs of wanting to wean- especially Poppy. And while I had planned on breastfeeding them for a full year, there's part of me that just wants to say "OK, 9 months- close enough!" But, then the guilt kicks in. Breast milk is best for babies. Nothing wrong with formula (they get probably about half of their food from formula now), it's just that breast milk is easier to digest and has all those great antibodies and magical fairy dust. ALSO, the cost. Full time formula feeding two babies is expensive. As I said, they're only getting about half of their food from formula now, so we'd be doubling the cost. Ouch. Anyway, for now, I will probably just keep doing what I'm doing, and let them slowly wean naturally. Because even though the small desire to just quit is there, so too is the knowledge that I shouldn't rush their weaning. This may be the only time I get to do this, so I should soak up every minute of it. :)

Anyway, I'm trying to be more aware of the things I feel guilty about. Most of the time I realize I need to cut myself some slack. I'm doing my best, and that's all I can do. I'm a smart gal, so realistically I know this.

But then I look at these two faces, and all that flies out the window:

Because, come ON. Who wouldn't want to do just about anything for them??? :)

~ M
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  1. Heh...I think I wrote this exact same post right around this exact same time after Henry's birth. I think you can rest assured that the "perfect parent" type just doesn't exist. We're all imperfect parents, and have been since the dawn of man. Anyone who claims that they're doing all the things they "should" be doing is a damn dirty my opinion.

    You lasted much longer than we did with the breast-feeding. I'm sure they'll work just fine on the formula (although I must is really stinking expensive). Your little ladies are going to be just great, even with split attention, formula, and any number of bruises.

  2. Well put Mariah. I am 100% sure all Mommies experience that. I know I do. It was like you were typing my thoughts about the guilt. Last night I went to the store...wasn't even gone an hour, and I felt guilty. What added to it was when I got home, Cory was putting Lilli to bed. I felt like I didn't get to see her much yesterday evening and this wave of extra guilt washed over me. Oy Vey! It's tough. But rest assured, we all know we do the best we can!

  3. And don't forget...caring for yourself is an important part of being a great mom. The less burnt out and tired you are, the better for them. So take breaks when you need to! They will also learn from you what it means to be a woman, so keep that in mind when you find yourself giving to the point of neglecting your own needs. Not to make you more neurotic though...I TOTALLY hear where you are. The bottom line is to remember that you are doing an AMAZING job. None of us are perfect moms. Just try to strike the best balance you can. As long as they have unconditional love from their parents they'll turn out great!