A few months ago, before Kaiden was born, I decided I wasn’t going to let mom guilt infiltrate my life. Looking back, this was a little silly on my part because I’ve never fully been able to let go of guilt in other parts of my life. My type A/people pleaser personality doesn’t allow me to live completely guilt-free. It’s something I’ve been working on for a while and probably will for the rest of my life.
While this post is geared toward my new role as a mama, I think the idea of releasing guilt is one that applies to most everyone.
So yeah. I was a little naive a few months ago. I figured I knew and understood how to embrace and/or circumvent the changes, feelings, etc. that were coming. Boy was I wrong. I was certainly spot on about all the positive emotions and changes, but the more challenging ones…not so much. Instead of navigating around them, I ran right into them, especially the feeling of guilt.
Some small part of me felt/sometimes still feels (I’m a work in progress!) guilty for all the things – both big and small… having to supplement with a little formula, not having a stash of breast milk in my freezer yet, sleeping through a middle of the night pumping session (sometimes on purpose, sometimes not), not helping my mom with household chores more, not owning a big house for Kaiden to grow up in, napping in the middle of the day (sometimes twice a day), Kaiden peeing on himself in the middle of a diaper change, not being as on top of keeping the apartment clean, going back to work in October and sending Kaiden to daycare, and the list goes on…
From an outside perspective, I’m sure you’re thinking, “Parita, you just had a baby. That’s a major life change. Don’t be so hard on yourself.” To which I would reply, “Easier said than done, my friend!”
Well, I’ve realized this whole mom guilt thing is something I’ll continue to face as Kaiden gets older…more so as he gets older I’m guessing.
Instead of fighting the guilt or thinking I can avoid it altogether, I have a better idea. Multiple mom friends have shared their stories with me over the past 9+ months, and here’s the biggest takeaway from each and every one…
If you’re doing the best you can with the resources you have (time, energy, money, etc.), release the guilt. LET IT GO!
Let it go because all your baby needs is you. And more than that, he/she just needs your love. Everything else takes a backseat. A happy mama equals a happy baby. And isn’t that what we want?
When I finally realized how much truth there is to this, I tried that much harder to let go of this newfound mom guilt and embrace this way of thinking. And I continue to do so because let’s face it, I’m a work in progress, and we all know guilt is one emotion that doesn’t disappear overnight!