Since Liliana was born over 12 weeks ago, I've admittedly had moments where I feel like I'm the worst mother in the world! Some blogs out there are pretty darn brutal with their opinions of ways Moms raise their children. After reading them, I always ask myself, "why don't I have the strong urge to stay home?" or "why don't I feel horrible about not breastfeeding her?" I've even occasionally thought maybe Evan and I shouldn't have that many more children because I'm obviously missing that "Mommy gene" that everyone else around me possesses.
However, after talking about this with Evan a million times, I actually finally and for the first time in 8 1/2 years, listened to my husband! He has shown me and told me multiple times that everyone is a different kind of mother and just because you don't parent like someone else or just because your child doesn't act like others doesn't mean anything! Every couple and every family will function in their own way, and I think as mothers, we need to start cutting each other some slack!! Every Mommy has her own Mommy gene, and that's OK.
So after reading blog after blog that enhanced my Mommy guilt, I've decided to write a little bit about things I refuse to feel guilty about anymore. Whether you're a mother or not, I think everybody should write a "I Don't feel guilty that" list everynow and then. It's nice to realize that you're doing your best.
SO, HERE GOES: I DON'T FEEL GUILTY THAT . . .
I didn't breastfeed Liliana: I have read on some blogs things such as "well, your daughter isn't going to have a very high IQ because you didn't breastfeed her." I sat there at my computer in shock thinking, well how do you respond to that? "Well, GREAT! That's what I had hoped... for Liliana to be dumb." For starters, and not to toot our own horn, but Evan and I are a pretty smart couple: a doctor and a law school graduate does not usually a stupid kid make. I was formula fed, by the way, and it turned out ok! I think it's a horrbile thing to make mothers feel guilty about this decision. For us, it's been wonderful. Evan and I have split the feedings pretty darn evenly and this has been so special to see him bond with her. In fact, I feel that the time I bonded with Liliana first wasn't when I breastfed her (which I did the first 3 days in the hospital), but when I first saw him give her a bottle. It was so breathtakingly beautiful. Plus, since we had two HUGE tests that we were studying for, our sleep was essential and the formula feeding helps with that. Anyway, long story short: I don't feel guilty and I think it's pretty mean for other bloggers to make Mothers feel guilty about it. Moms, just do what's best for you two...whether you want to breastfeed or formula feed, it's a personal decision!!
That you leave them in their bouncy chair for a nap instead of the crib: As I posted about earlier, Liliana goes to sleep AMAZINGLY...unless it's nap time. For some reason, the girl abhores sleeping in her crib during the day. So, I don't feel guilty anymore that she just takes that hour long nap in her bouncy chair. I do try every single day just to see if things have changed, but inevitably, I succumb to her wishes and she sleeps in that bouncy chair. It makes for a happy baby and a happy Mommy.
For wanting alone time with your husband: Evan and I still take time EVERY SINGLE day to have "us" time. Now, I don't just mean that kind of time, although I feel it is so important as well. Here, in particular, I also mean adult conversation time. We make it a point to not just talk about Liliana all the time (which I must admit, is hard sometimes because she's just so darn cute lately with all her smiles and coos). Every single day we lay in bed or on the couch just talking about whatever. Sometimes it's about serious things such as what we want from our lives (he's applying for residencies right now and that has been really stressful) and sometimes we just laugh and tickle each other. Every day we remind each other that in the beginning there were two. That is SO important. I don't feel guilty for desiring this alone time with my husband because I feel it makes me a better parent.
For leaving them for 45 minutes a day in order to workout: Even while in San Antonio, I have MADE the time to workout at least 3 times a week. I don't feel guilty that in this time period, Liliana is usually in her bouncy chair entertaining herself. For me, it's important to stay (or try to get) physically fit. I feel better about myself and am happier as a result. Why would I feel guilty for wanting to be happier? I love working out and then when I'm all gross and sweaty, I give her big hugs afterwards because she still loves me anyway. ; )
For taking them to daycare: I have read on SO many blogs that Mothers think it's selfish when other Moms take their children to daycare...this makes me very upset. In fact, I read one blog where a Mother said, "don't you want to see your child walk for the first time?" What kind of response are working Moms supposed to give? "WELL, actually, I was hoping to NEVER see her walk!" HA! Liliana will be starting daycare in September so I can study for these teacher certification exams, and hopefully after that, I'll have a job! This has probably been the hardest one for me to say: I don't feel guilty for being EXCITED about taking Liliana to daycare. For now, I think the benefit will mainly be for me to study, but once Liliana really starts interacting, I can't wait for her to get to know other little kiddos her age and to start crawling and talking with other babies...it will get her socialized and I'll just watch her on the web cam at the daycare during any break I get. I don't feel guilty for wanting to work while my baby is happily playing.
I hope this post didn't offend anyone! I just think it's important for Moms to step back and realize that everyone does their best!!
1 day ago