My whole life I’ve been really critical of myself. I blame myself for things far too often and for far too long. And then I became a Mom, and now there are two little babies I love more than anything who are influenced by every action and decision I make… holy, pressure!
You can’t stop mom guilt completely. By the end of the day I’ve probably lost my temper at one or both of the kids multiple times, which I will beat myself up for as I try to sleep. I’ll constantly question if I’m feeding them a balanced enough diet. The list goes on and on… and to an extent it’s a good thing. I’m glad I’m conscious about what I feed them and being patient with them. But there are some things I feel guilty about that are so ridiculous. And I need to let them go. They include:
- Not enjoying my pregnancies
- Not having them naturally
- Not staying home with Lucille in her first year
- Not sending them to daycare to get better socialized
- Not pumping enough when I returned to work for Lucille to be exclusively breastfed
- Not trying harder to get my breastmilk supply back when I got pregnant with Lennon and Lucille was only 8 months old
- Breastfeeding Lennon so much that he still depends on it for comfort at 20 months old
- Spending too much money on clothes for Lucille as some outfits only get worn a couple times
- Not spending hardly and money on clothes for Lennon and letting him live in hand me downs from my bff’s 3 boys and my sister’s two boys (it’s a ridiculous amount of hand me downs!!! I’m so grateful!)
- Not enrolling them in swim class the past several months
- Not spending enough time with them on learning activities
- Not having a nice kitchen that we can enjoy better as a family
As you may have noticed, many of these items directly contradict other items. I feel guilty about sending Lucille to daycare and guilty about taking her out… that doesn’t make sense! Sure, it’d be great to send them a few hours a couple days a week, for social interaction, so they’re used to being away from me, so I can get stuff accomplished… but it’s not a financial possibility right now, nor is a new kitchen. Some day we’ll get a new kitchen and we can bake and cook together more often, it’s a super high priority of mine and the reason I still work part time, so that we can afford the project someday… but we’re not there yet. That reminds me of two more things I feel guilty about:
- Spending too much time working during the day instead of playing with them
- Not working more so we have more money
Again, contradictions! We can’t have it all. We just need to do the best we can and feel confident that it’s enough. Because it is. Do I wish Lucille and I worked on her numbers more? Yes, I do. But Lennon gets bored and throws any learning tools we have and it just doesn’t happen.. and at this age, I think it’s more important that her and her brother are both having fun. What’s the worst that’ll happen? She could get to pre-school knowing less than the rest of the class… yeah, that would stink. But she’ll learn once she’s in pre-school, surrounded by kids her age who are ready to learn. In the end, it’ll be fine.
And feeling guilty about not enjoying my pregnancies like some women do… why? I don’t think my kids will hold it against me when they find out I didn’t like pregnancy. I think they’ll understand that it’s hard to enjoy yourself when you’re puking several times a day for 9 months. (For the record there were things I loved about pregnancy, like feeling baby kicks and baby hiccups. There was just so much I didn’t enjoy that over all it wasn’t my favorite and is something I’m not looking forward to repeating.)
So there it is, the things I’m letting go of, not letting myself feel any more negative emotions towards. And I’m sure there will be a sequel to this post, because guilt isn’t something you should collect. It’s something you should learn from and then set free.