Friday, January 28, 2011

How to Deal

I believe every mother (new or seasoned) struggles with Mommy Guilt. You know those thoughts and feelings of "Am I doing the right thing?" "Will my child know how much I love them?" "Is it okay for me to be crazy frustrated and feel like I'm going to lose my mind if I don't get an hour or two away from this baby?" Those kinds of things.

This is one of my biggest struggles. To be honest, sometimes I make myself sick over whether or not I have made the right choices for Sarah. There are times (a lot recently) when being a stay at home mom has just been so overwhelming to me. Here I am responsible for this tiny little life, I have to fill her needs and help her grown and learn. It's a daunting task, especially for first timers. I constantly worry about what the "right thing" is. In my head I know she's happy, healthy, and loved. But then that guilt creeps in. The "I should haves", "I need tos" "I wishes". You know at night when you think back on your day and see what could have gone differently.

And now I have a new source of guilt. This new baby that's coming. When I found out I was pregnant, I was less than thrilled. I felt like I was robbing Sarah of the time she deserved to be an only child. I felt robbed too, like I was going to miss out on the rest of Sarah's babyhood because I would be big and pregnant and have to divide my time between her and doctor visits.

That of course triggered more guilt. (A vicious cycle.) I felt awful for not being overjoyed about this pregnancy. I hoped my baby wouldn't feel unwanted or unloved when it got here. But I know that a surprise pregnancy takes some time to get used to. We did want more kids, but hadn't planned on a second baby this soon. I didn't feel ready to deal with morning sickness, exhaustion, and the general aches and pains of pregnancy.

 At first I was angry and sad, but now I am getting more excited and ready for it. I mean the experience of already having one, makes it easier to know what's coming with a second.  And I realize that I can do this. I realize that Sarah won't be robbed of anything. She will have one more person to love her and to love. She will be getting a lifelong friend. I know that I can enjoy her and this new baby. It will be tough at times, but just because this wasn't my plan doesn't mean it wasn't supposed to happen.

And all of the discomforts of pregnancy are worth it in the end. The nausea and sleepiness and everything else. Because even if I did scream when I saw that second line, I know that all babies are miracles and that God is blessing us with one more. I have a great family support system in place and some great friends. So even if I feel guilty about the feelings that I struggle with I know I can do this. So all you other mamas out there, just try to let the Mommy Guilt go and be the best mom you can. I know it's what I will be working on.


Trine Marie said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I don't have any children, but I can't wait to be at that place in my life. I'm looking forward to every single moment from knowing that a life, a little person is growing inside of me to sending them off to college and watch them build their own families. But I realize that it's not just bliss. It's hard work, commitment, responsibility and sacrifices, and I can totally see how the parents need and wish to provide the child with ever opportunity, time, love and affection can be hard to live up to. You've written with such honesty and I'm truly thankful for that! A beautiful blog!

Nikki said...

I hear ya on the mommy guilt. Being a working mom, sometimes I really need to come home and decompress, but I don't want to waste the time I have with Harper. So I feel guilty if I plop her in her exercauser. I have to remember, a lot of times she needs to decompress from daycare too. It is hard to get rid of the guilt sometimes.

The Siders House Rules said...

Yes, mommy guilt. What is that stuff and who invented it? I want a refund. Anyway, I definitely relate to this, but I think I do a pretty good job of keeping this accusing voice silent. The thing I've struggled most with is fear of something happening to John, me falling down stairs or him suffocating on a blanket in his crib. Isn't the mother's imagination frightening? I have to pray a lot. I'm sure you know what I mean. :)

Lindsey said...

Until Sarah was about 6 months old I worried about things happening to her CONSTANTLY. She became a belly sleeper at about 3 months and all the SIDS prevention things say to not let them sleep that way. So I would run into her room at random times to make sure she was breathing. Then I would worry about falling with her or her getting hurt too. I prayed a lot!

bo's mommy said...

The mommy guilt seems overbearing most days. Especially when support system is slim to none and daddy travels with work. Thanks for your insight and new way to view it. This one made me cry too. And I'm so not the "cry baby mama". Anyways-u have a gift. Thanks for using it and helping me keep sane.