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Guilt of Mothers

Updated on August 19, 2012

Mother's Guilt

Worry and guilt are not new feelings to new mothers. There are plenty of things I have already felt guilt over and my daughter has only been alive three short weeks. A lot of times, however, there is nothing to feel guilty about for a second. Society tends to tell us how we should do things and what we should feel guilty about. One thing I am so happy someone told me though is that you know your baby best, no one can tell you what if best for her. When this women told me this, I really didn't think I'd care so much about what society thought or felt so much guilt.

Guilty mom #1: I don't room in with my newborn.- If you don't want your baby to sleep in a bassinet in your room for the first three months, put her in her crib, and don't feel like you are a bad parent. Everyone sleeps better that way! My daughter has never once slept in our room. She came home from the hospital and went straight to her crib. Every mom seems to want to tell you that a bassinet in your bedroom is the way to go, it may be for them, but it isn't for everyone! I had a friend ask on Facebook what parents thought was the best plan, every single one said room-in but me. After, I messaged her and said there were perks to the baby sleeping in her own nursery, she messaged me back and said everyone else was making her feel like a bad parent because she had hoped to put her baby in her nursery but no one said that was a good idea. I have a strict policy in our house that my husband and my bedroom is for my husband and me... I spent a lot of time decorating that beautiful nursery and she honestly seems to enjoy it! I put her in her bassinet from the pack n' play, strap her in with her blankie, and put her in her crib. She's happy as a lark. Don't feel guilty if you want to keep your space intimate and her space hers.

Guilty mom #2: I dryed up quickly and have to feed my baby formula- Breast is best... my ass... you know what is best for my baby? A mother who doesn't mentally abuse herself because her breastmilk dryed up and has to give her poor baby formula. Yes, there are benefits to breastmilk that formula doesn't have but there are millions of babies in the US who eat formula and guess what... they're alive and happy! A happy mother is the best gift you can give your baby. Don't beat yourself up over something you can't control, your body decides when it is done. The worst thing someone has said to me thus far was a complete accident and made me feel terrible. My dad said your mom was like a dairy farm, she had to throw milk out... obviously the first thing I thought was what the hell is wrong with me? That was a hard thing to get over, that I couldn't give my daughter what she needed... then I realized if you take $20 to the store there is a whole damn section of what she needs and there is no mental abuse involved after you come to terms with that.

Guilty mom #3: Your child has a condition that you couldn't control even with the most nutritious diet and a boat load of exercise- Nothing terrifies a parent more than when the newborn screening comes back and there is a genetic problem with your child. Just remember, there is nothing you could have done to change that. Also, a lot of doctor's don't explain what something is so when they tell you there is a possible genetic marker on the screening that doesn't mean for sure that the baby has it nor does it mean it is that serious. Our daughter came back with possible VLCAD, it's a metabolic disorder that is recessive, so both parents need to have the marker, the odds of a baby having it are about 1 in 140,000. Our doctor didn't explain what it was, I thought our daughter was going to die... it just means that she needs to eat more frequently and will have a hard time digesting fats and carbs if she fasts for longer than a few hours. It could have serious complications but only if she doesn't take care of herself. The fact is, nothing could have been done about this except my husband and I not having children and that just wasn't an option to me. Also, if it isn't a confirmed result on a screening, it may just be a marker and not an active genetic mutation. Autism, Downes, genetic disorders-- can't be stopped! You should feel guilty however if your child has fetal alcohol syndrom or a drug addiction, because you are a shitty parent then.

Guilty mom #4: I let my baby cry it out sometimes- If my daughter was just fed and has a clean diaper but still won't stop crying, sometimes I let her cry it out in her nursery for a little bit, most of the time she calms herself down within minutes. The doctor told me this was good for her lungs before you go off thinking that it is cruel. Also, ask your parents what they did, my parents let me cry it out, and I turned out pretty well, I think. Every year, they come out with new techniques and studies that make the old methods seem cruel, you survived, right? So the old methods aren't toxic, use them if you like them!

I am guilt-free at the moment because I have come to terms with the fact that sometimes things just can't be control. Please don't let anyone tell you you're doing something wrong or that you don't know what is best for your baby! Short of making decisions while drunk or high, your judgment about the child that you spend most of your time with is correct.. I have a happy 3 weeks old formula fed baby who sleeps in her crib with a possible genetic metabolic disorder who sometimes cries herself out... but she's healthy and the doctor says her head is perfect :-)

Don't let society dictate how you raise your child, you know what is best.

Did you feel these same feelings when your baby was young?

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