There were a lot of things I wish I had known before becoming a mom: breastfeeding will be excruciating the first few weeks, you will ugly cry EVERY. SINGLE. TIME you read On the Night You Were Born, there will be a moment (or two) where you will wonder why you went and got yourself into this mess, but the one thing I would warn my non-mama self is this: You will feel guilty about everything.
It started on day four. Baby E had not peed since we left the hospital. We were waiting anxiously for the arrival of a wet diaper, and eventually called our pediatrician. She told me to supplement with formula until our regularly scheduled appointment that afternoon. By 11am, girlfriend was still dry so at the recommendation of our physician, off we went to the Emergency Department of the Children’s Hospital. Looking at my teeny tiny girl stripped to her diaper under a warmer while she was being monitored for hours broke my heart. And it was my fault because my body couldn’t feed her the way it was supposed to. Thankfully she recovered and we went home that afternoon, but that was just the start of what is sure to be a lifetime of heart wrenching moments.
In the past five months, my motherly guilt has grown to include:
E getting numerous colds, a virus AND the flu in less than two months at daycare. I can’t help but think that if I was home with her, she wouldn’t be getting sick. She’s miserable and it’s my fault because I’m at work all day.
Let’s be honest-I feel guilty about leaving her at daycare in general. It tears my heart out every single morning and nearly every night when I pick her up. The first week I sobbed when picking her up like a total freak. I feel guilty throughout the day wondering if she is sad, missing me, getting as much attention as she would be at home. It doesn’t stop.
Not doing anything else when I get home from work or on the weekend because I want to spend every single moment with the baby. Thus, I feel guilty that dinner is a free for all, we never have groceries, and there are puffs of dog hair rolling down the hallway the size of hamsters.
Trying to provide this girl with enough to eat. She is a skinny little gal, and at her two month appointment her doctor made me schedule a weight check-in for month three. Guilt hit me in the gut. How was my body not providing her with what she needed to thrive? Most recently her daycare teacher told me that she wants more for her bottles, something that is a huge challenge for me.
Feeling terrible if I’m not 100% engaged with her at every moment. If I’m checking my phone or folding laundry instead of providing her with some meaningful activity that will foster brain development, improve her motor skills, turn her into the smartest child in the world, I know I’m the worst mom ever.
Taking an extra 30 minutes after work to run errands as opposed to picking her up immediately. It would be easier to hit up the grocery store on my way home from the office to grab a few items, but I feel terrible leaving her at daycare even longer than I need to. End result is it usually doesn’t get done.
The worst guilt I feel is when I get frustrated at this tiny innocent face. I think it happens to every mom. Your baby REFUSES to sleep, is fussing for no particular reason, yanks your hair out of your head until you tear up, and that sweet, soft voice usually reserved for your little one is gone. Immediately afterwards I regret it. Last week Emma had the flu and it really impacted her sleeping. One night she was up 7 times. I was sick too, and exhausted, and at one point at 3 in the morning when she was just staring at me I yelled, “GO TO SLEEP!” I want to cry just thinking about it. Screaming at a sick baby. Mother of the year.
It’s an awesome responsibility and privilege to care for her beautiful little soul and I can only hope that I’m doing what is best for her. I’m trying to let go of the guilt I feel and focus instead of making the most of the time I do get to spend with Emma every day. Mamas out there, how do you deal with motherly guilt?
*A whole ‘nother post needed on the balance between being an involved parent and being a quality career woman. And maybe another one on trying to be a good wife while being a new mom. Yikes.
I’m very delayed in my last TWO Bachelor recaps, and for that, I greatly apologize. I have so many thoughts. But I’ve left my laptop at work and am not going in today because my baby is sick.
Emma has been in daycare for two months. In these two months she has had about 4 colds and one stomach virus. It’s miserable, but I get it, it’s part of being a daycare kid. But today she woke up with a fever in addition to the runny nose and little cough. And now my heart is racing as I desperately google measles symptoms. The fact that I even need to consider that my baby may have a PREVENTABLE disease is killing me. Earlier this week I actually thought twice about taking her to the grocery store, but then decided I was not going to live in fear. Now I wonder if I made the right decision.
I’m sure she is fine. This is probably just a cold that will be gone in a few days, but if it’s not, and my sweet, innocent baby contracts something that puts her at risk, so help me God, I will come after those who choose not to vaccinate. Mamas, we all want to do what is best for our children, but when the decisions you make impact what is best for MY child, the greater good needs to be considered.
Please say some prayers that this face wakes up from her morning nap happy and fever free.
Girls (I’m assuming no guys are reading? If you are-show yourselves!), I promise a Bachelor recap is coming. So much happened, I really want to give it the time and attention it deserves! But for now…a few thoughts to finish off the week.
1. I have been dairy free for over ten days and have not lost one pound. How is this possible, you might ask? I have no idea, except maybe I’ve upped my bread intake to compensate for cheese being removed from my life? No matter what, I’m pissed. I legit thought I would be like 5 lbs lighter during this morning’s weigh in. Maybe I’m housing too many dairy free treats. Turns out Oreos are dairy free so I’m snacking on those like it is my job.
2. If you’re eating dairy free or not, you MUST run out immediately and purchase Sharon’s Sorbet in coconut. Oh my word, it is a true delight! Half a cup is 140 calories and 4 grams of fat. I love that there are only six ingredients, all of which I know, except guar? I found it in Mariano’s. Get you some immediately. It is like a tropical vacation in a cardboard pint.
3. Operation not look like a hot mess is in effect. I got my lashes done last weekend. I took really sketchy before and after selfies for you, but my eyelash lady (official term) also did and she used a gorgeous filter on my skin so you can’t see my wrinkles and zits so I’m using the image she sent me. Side note: Why do I have both wrinkles and zits? I’m 34–lets just go with the wrinkles, ok skin? Local ladies, I got these bad boys done at Stella’s Haven in West Town. The place was super cute, parking right in front, and Rebecca was great. I’ll provide an update in a few weeks to see how long these last. I got A Step Above, which are originally $155 (I purchased for $75 on Gilt City), but still way less expensive than other salons in the city. Look how glamorous I am! I clearly have not worn make-up all week because I feel like this is enough. My husband has not noticed that I’ve had anything done, obviously.
4. Next up: Vagina Steam. Everyone is doing it, AKA Gywneth.
You can read a little blurb on US Weekly. Is this a joke? I mean, I do not understand this. I don’t even have time to wash my face and this chick is getting a facial for her vaa-jean. Get a job Gwynnie. Or at least give me some of the cash you use on this insane stuff so I can keep up with my eyelashes!
5. My little nugget is getting baptized this weekend! Our entire family is in town for the celebration and I can’t wait to see Em in her ridiculous christening gown. Seriously it’s like 4 feet long. The things I do to this kid….
Have a good weekend buddies!