Tuesday, April 7, 2009

When does the mama guilt go away?

While I am taking a week off for Easter I thought I would post some "retro" posts of mine. Hope you have a wonderful Easter!!

Everyone told me about diaper rash, baby blues and sleeping schedules before I had my precious ones. No one, and I mean NO ONE, told me about the mama guilt that hits you like a ton of bricks the moment your eyes meet their baby blues.

It stinks too..... I keep thinking about all the things I am doing wrong and all the ways I could be damaging my children for life. It makes me crazy!!! I kept thinking with my first that it would slowly go away as I got a better grasp on the mama thing and regained my footing after a long tough pregnancy. ehhhhhhhh no. It only gets worse because the consequences seem to loom bigger and bigger with their growth. Now instead of just trying to figure out if they are throwing a fit or really need something we are faced with tough questions. Tv or not? How much should we be working with them on skills without pushing them ? What sort of discipline fits our individual child. That's not even talking about the guilt about how we are juggling all our time and energy. I mean I try to put my marriage first but its hard with a crying baby and whining toddler. What is left for me? Then I feel guilty for thinking about me... grrrrr the guilt goes on and on and on......

I find myself feeling guilty about EVERYTHING these days. When my saint of a husband tells me something that I did that was really nice for our kids I am quick to point out the five things that I didn't do or feel like I should have done. COULDA SHOULDA WOULDA...... That seems to be my life these days. The most current example is that I was telling hubby that I feel bad for not spending enough quality time with my toddler because my infant has been mucho needy lately. He looked at me for a long time. ( Probably choosing his words so not to awake the dragon I am sure) He pointed out to me that I stay at home to spend the whole day with my children. They see my face before they go to bed and when they get up and alot of face time in between and thats alot. I realized what he was saying was true but did it ease my guilt... noooooooooo. I just thought... yeah but I could have been working on his colors instead of talking to my girlfriend on the phone for ten minutes.

I am writing this post because I am listening to my 6 month old cry. She has started to refuse to sleep during the day and everybody is suffering because of it. She likes to sleep in her swing but the girl is now too big and needs to sleep in her crib! The only way is to let her cry a little and get used to the fact that naps are now in the crib. The result? I am sitting here sobbing like my highschool boyfriend broke up with me. ( You know ... the chest heaving hyperventilating kind of cry) I just keep thinking that I am damaging her for life. I can see her now........ she is laying on a long couch telling the therapist how her problems all started when her mama made her take naps in the crib.



Lisa said...

This post resonates so much with me! My youngest is the same age as your oldest, so I'm not that far ahead in the game, but so far the guilt is still going strong. And things my mom has said (in her late 70's with grown children, and grandchildren!), make me think that it never goes away. :(

All I can say to you is, you're not alone. There will be good times and there will be bad times. And by all accounts, I think you're a MUCH better mom than you are giving yourself credit for in these moments. You know this...we just all need to be reminded sometimes. :)

Big hugs to you, hon!
Lisa (beamer from SK)

MomOfOne said...

I hear you loud and clear. I am a working mom taking her son to daycare 4 days a week. Talk about guilt. At least your guilt is your own and not guilt about what others are possibly doing to damage your kids for life. Just the fact that you worry says a ton about the kind of mom you are. It probably does never go away, but at least we can commiserate with blogs! Hang in there :)

Amy said...

You are definitley not alone.
The other day my oldest left for school and somehow I forgot to give him breakfast! I know he's old enuf to get something on his own but I "shoulda" done it!!!
I'm pretty sure it never goes away but we love our kids and if we didn't that guilt wouldn't even be there.My oldest 2 actually will say or do things now to make me feel guilty,now that is no fun.
Like lisa said,my mom and G-ma still talk about things they feel guilty about.I think it's all part of that crazy wonderful sometimes guilt ridden thing called being a"mom".

Sisters Savings said...

Aw... I swear I was just in my own head as I was reading that! My goodness, I have had everyone of those thoughts in my head.. I am always telling my husband that too...He'll think I am being too hard and I'll say, "well I do not want them to end up in jail!" (My kids are 4 and 2!) Crazy, because I am always saying I want them to turn out to be kind and productive citizens contributing to society! My husband thinks I am crazy! Oh well, at least we care enough...right? lol!!!
That's what I tell myself!

sheila said...

Just found your site. We're both from Ohio! I was reading about 'guilt'. My kids are all teens and let me tell ya, it never goes away. You still question every thought and decision.

How come no one ever told us it would be this hard for heaven's sake? lol.

If you'd like to see what 'you're in store for' next you can visit my site. I have to warn you, I've recently posted some political stuff but you can just skip over all that crap. I was in a winner of a mood.

You may want to look at ARE YOU THERE GOD, It's me, Sheila...my kids tattoo...Middle Child (under pages)...there's a lot of things that may give you a laugh and a warning of what you may encounter in a couple years!

I enjoy your site, I'm gonna bookmark it. Thanks.