Mummy Guilt

Well, welcome to the world of parenting.

I guarantee, that within the first week or so of becoming a parent, you found or will find something to feel guilty about. Wether it’s “not being strong enough” to labour without drugs, or feeling as though you “missed out” on the birth experience because you had to, or chose to have that c-section.

From breastfeeding, expressing, formula feeding, cloth nappies to disposable nappies, car Seat or capsule and attachment parenting, the guilt will hit. And it will hit hard.

For me, it was being told to stop breastfeeding my newborn because the sheer quantity of painkillers I had been consuming had turned my milk to water. It wasn’t my fault, My Epidural (during my medically required but still listed as elective C-section) was botched, leaving me with the dreaded spinal headache. My son was losing weight dangerously fast. It was switch to formula, or prepare for an extended hospital stay in the royal children’s. We chose the formula. And when that mother last week looked at me in the parents room with clear disgust, while I mixed his bottle, The guilt hit.

We women are our own worst enemies. How many times have you heard someone say “well so and so did this, I would never..”. Or worse still, actually criticize the new mum? How many horror stories have you heard of midwives, doctors and nurses reducing a new mum to tears because of decisions she’s made for her child?

Support is sadly lacking for so many women. Having a baby is a massive, massive undertaking. The emotional, physical and psychological ramifications can be huge for those who don’t have people around them, telling them that things will be ok, that they can choose the way they want to raise their child without fear of judgement or reprimand.

We women need to start sticking together. Nobody has the right to judge. Nobody has the right to tell you how to raise your child. Nobody can love your baby more than you do. And as long as you’re feeding him or her, seeing wet and dirty nappies, and the baby is settled? Let the guilt go. You have enough on your plate right now.

You’re doing it right.

Sometimes, that’s all you need to hear.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. caspette
    Dec 20, 2010 @ 12:01:46

    Sometimes I find the worse guilt trips and judgement comes from other mums. It just blew my mind when I realised this. I thought to myself “Shouldn’t they be on my side? they know how hard it is” and yet there is that look, the look that says “I judge you and find you guilty of being a bad parent”.

    Dont feel bad about the bottle feeding. I believe if it wasn’t necessary for bottle feeding formula wouldnt have been invented. I am lucky enough that I can breast feed, but my son gets formula during the day at day care (dont get me started on the day car guilts!).

    Your right at the end of the day no matter what you do SOMEONE will think your WRONG and will probably lecture you at length about it. So stuff em all and do what you want, as long asyour kid is thriving then who gives a rats!

    Reply

  2. Rainbowg
    Dec 22, 2010 @ 14:38:00

    It is sad that there is so much pressure to breast feed now. I’m told that when we were babies it was very common to forumla feed, and we all turned out ok… I think!

    Perhaps there is some jealousy involved on both parts. Breast feeding is portable, intimate and free, whereas formula can be more flexible, painless, easier to do in public and more likely to encourage babies to sleep through the night. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

    Reply

  3. Literary Feline
    Jan 01, 2011 @ 10:09:48

    Recent research has shown that breast milk is the ideal choice for an infant, but, that said, science has done a heck of a lot to make sure formula has many of the necessary nutrients a baby needs. It really comes down to personal choice though–and some women just can’t manage it for whatever reason, choice or not. I really hate that women aren’t more supportive of each other, like you said.

    Speaking of the mummy guilt–my big guilt issue is that I’ll be a working mother. It seems to be such a controversial issue, when I don’t really think it needs to be. And yet, mothers from both sides get bent out of joint saying their way is the best way and looking down on the other side.

    Great topic! I’m sure we could go on and on. 🙂

    Reply

  4. Trackback: I don’t know who thought it might be a good idea to collaborate with me! « Nearly Not Quite
  5. Sera
    Jan 07, 2011 @ 10:09:49

    what a bitch (can i swear here?) i don’t understand? its
    not like formula was back when they were birthing, really imo there
    is so little difference between breast and bottle now, I either
    didn’t see anyone commenting, or i glossed over it and just smiled.
    You do whats in the best interest of the baby, and in your
    situation ( mine too, and so many others) formula is the best thing
    for the baby. Why don’t people get this?

    Reply

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