Ditching the guilt

Ditching the guilt

When I was pregnant, the guilt started. When I got gestational diabetes, I felt like it was my fault. Like I did something wrong. (Thank goodness for learning it was just a wonky placenta that was imbalanced. My doctor said women of all healths, sizes and ages get GD).

Then with the GD, I would feel so guilty if I occasionally indulged. Being pregnant and monitoring my carb intake was TOUGH. Have you ever been pregnant? There are cravings. I cried one time because all I wanted was strawberry cake. My husband told me to eat the darn cake. Was I hurting my baby? Turns out, I did such a great job managing it that she was TINY at birth (and overdue!).  My doctor commended my work, saying maybe I had been too good. ha!

Then she was born. The guilt started.  We didn’t get a breastfeeding relationship started. She wouldn’t latch (now I suspect a lip tie, but it’s a little too late now). I felt guilt because I wanted to do it, but couldn’t. I wanted to give her the “best.”  I pumped. I was miserable pumping. I couldn’t tend to her while I pumped…I hated being hooked up to that machine so often. After 6 weeks (and after having a suspicious mole cut off my breast), we decided to stop. It was hurting from the dermatological procedure and my sanity needed to stop pumping.

Then we were at home together. Was I talking to her enough? Was I reading to her enough? Was she sleeping enough? Was she securely attached?

Then I went back to work. Am I being selfish? Will she love my mom (who kept her during the days) more than me? Will she feel abandoned? And if I did anything after work, I felt so guilty. Guilty for getting a hair cut. Guilty for going grocery shopping on my way home. So. Much. Guilt.

I spent so much time worried, unhappy, frustrated, anxious and guilt-ridden.

I’ve let go of that. After a lot of praying, support, and self-seeking, I let go of that guilt.

She loves me. She’s happy. She’s healthy. I’m a better person for taking time for myself (and who wants an anxious, frustrated mama?) And I honestly think she’s a better baby for being flexible and around people. I NEED to work. I feel a purpose there. I need interaction with people. That’s something God has put inside me just as much as he purposed me to be her mom. I feel better working out. I feel better if I go out with my husband or my mom or friends once in a while. I am happier after taking a couple days off to do something I love (Hanson Day!). And I actually feel much better knowing it would all be ok if I were (heaven forbid) to be sick for a while or have to travel for work or be gone. It was nice to see our village do their thing.

I’ve felt like a few people were trying to lay the guilt on me for doing things for myself. For going out of town. For working out after work. For daycare. For being me. NOT GONNA HAPPEN. I realized that anyone putting those feelings on me were having their own issues.

I’m happy. I’m healthy. I love my baby more than she’ll ever know. And thankfully, I’m guilt-free.


Comments

  1. Good for you Brittney. I was thinking back about my own experiences as a new mom as I read your post today. I spent much of my children’s early years feeling guilty for working, not always cooking at home, them going to daycare (you get the picture). Self care is one of the best things you can do as a mom for your family and for yourself. Hope you have a great weekend my friend. h

  2. Brittney, I am so glad that you let go of the guilt. It will eat you up! My kids are now 15 & 10 but when my daughter was born, I struggled with breastfeeding (due to me having a C-section, then a reaction to morphine) to the point she would turn tomato red every time feeding time came along. Finally I said no more! She needed to eat more than my need to nurse. Turns out my Mom struggled too w/ my brother & I. We are just not meant to breastfeed. My milk never even came in. That said my daughter
    had formula and so did my son 5 years later and you know what, they are both fine. Both are upstanding kids who make honor roll and excel in life. My kids both went to daycare as well. You have to do what fits for you and you family. Mom guilt is everywhere these days but if what you are doing make you happy, who cares what others say!

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