Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I Don't Feel Guilty That . . .

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!! 

49 comments:

  1. Great post. I think I'll be doing one similar to this as well. It's time for moms to stop making other moms feel guilty in their decisions on how to raise their children, and manage their families! Good for you for NOT feeling guilty!

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  2. Not a mom, but I read a lot of mom blogs and I just don't get all the judgment. I don't really understand why what other people do is so important, especially when it has absolutely NOTHING to do with their own child's well-being.

    good for you :)

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  3. You're obviously a very caring and loving mom. I'm glad you don't feel guilty because you shouldn't. It took me years to overcome the guilty mom syndrome. So pleased to hear you learned that lesson sooner than I did!

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  4. What an awesome post. I don't have babies anymore, but I still feel guilty about some of the things I don't do. My biggest one is working full time to help support our family. Thank you for your post, lets me know that I am not alone in the whole guilt thing!

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  5. Hi, I found your blog through Blogfrog! I like the idea of a "I Don't feel guilty that .." list :) I have a 5 month old son, and I have learned that you just have to do what is right for you, and not worry about what everyone else is doing. I am a big researcher, so I like to look at all the options and then just make my own decisions.

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  6. Kudos!!! I think that this is how many people feel but aren't willing to admit. It's completely fine to have things to yourself, even as a mama, and I HATE that people judge moms who don't breastfeed. I turned out just fine and my mom didn't!

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  7. Agreed! There is no definitive method on parenting. Every child is different and responds to different things.

    Props to you for balancing school, marriage, your own needs and motherhood all at the same time!

    I'm nervous for the day when I'm a mother and won't be able to multitask all the different aspects of my life.

    You make it look easy!

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  8. Great blog...great post. Glad I found you on Blog Frog. I work as well. Moms do the absolute best they can. Given the day and age we live in it's just not possible for every mom to stay home and daycare can be so wonderful for children. I am fortunate my daycare is at my job. I may leave to stay home eventually...but I have the utmost respect for women no matter what they do...I think we need to build each other up and support people's choices instead of judging. Nice to meet you!!! ~Kimberly

    www.stinkerpinker.com

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  9. I totally agree. Everyone's situation is different and as mothers we should be supporting each other not bashing. As a working mom or a stay at home mom- motherhood is hard! Rewarding, but hard. The mommy guilt never goes away though I've been told. haha I wrote a post on my blog somewhat similar to this about a few things I refuse to give up just because I'm a mom- like nice underwear haha here's a link if you would like to check it out:

    http://megherald.blogspot.com/2010/08/things-i-refuse-to-sacrifice-as-mommy.html

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  10. hello! the Cohen name frame was made by my one of my best friends, emily. she is precious and i'm sure would love to make a name frame for you. her website is http://emilyschocolateblue.blogspot.com/

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  11. I agree :) I wrote a whole post about why I didn't love breastfeeding. I refuse to let myself feel guilty about my parenting choices! I don't babywear, cosleep, breastfeed, etc...and a lot of my friends do! I do sometimes feel judged for my choices but I've got an awesome, well adjusted baby so I really don't care :)

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  12. Wonderful post!! I never thought twice about not breastfeeding, because it just wasn't an option for me. It's sad to say, the first time I was made to feel guilty about it was when I was in the hospital after giving birth! I distinctly remember a nurse saying "Oh, that's too bad..." after I said I wasn't breastfeeding. And later when my uterus wouldn't clamp down postpartum...I kept bleeding and bleeding, and they blamed it on me, saying if I was breastfeeding it would make my uterus contract and clamp down to stop bleeding. I couldn't believe my ears when they said that!

    Anyway, good for you for not feeling guilty about anything, because you definitely shouldn't!!

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  13. You go lady! There is no need for you to feel guilty at all! You are a wonderful mother who is just doing it your own way, and that's admirable not judge-able!

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  14. I have never commented before. I enjoy reading your blog. Do what is best for your family and your baby! Stop reading those blogs that make you feel down! Your baby is growing and happy. You need to be a happy mom, too! I did not breast fed either. I worked and my daughter had qualitity child care. I worked cause we needed the income as a taeacher but I had lots of time off for her. She loved being around other children. Do not feel quilty!!

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  15. This is the part where I'm going to be a know-it-all BUT I have 4 terrific, very well behaved children. I honestly believe it's because I did what helped me remain sane, ie. working out, did not breastfeed all of them (those that didn't catch on, didn't get the boob, end of story!) continued having dates with my husband, loved it when it was naptime so when they slept, wherever they slept, they remained! You are doing great, and furthermore, YOUR child will be better adjusted as a result of it...AND you have a law degree! Hello!!! You are fantastic!

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  16. I'm not a mom either. but i know when I become a mom, i will never be judgemental. i got into a fight with a SAHM mom once because I made a comment that I wish I was a SAHM so I can blog and blog... because honestly, it seems like it's all they ever do! :) I dont have any kids, work a full time job - and I FIND it hard to find time to blog sometimes twice a week! :)

    thanks for visiting me on my special day! :)
    im so happy to be the featured blogger over at SITS! :)

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  17. p.s. im a new follower - come follow me back and lets keep in touch! :)

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  18. Hi Cristy!

    I think it is important for your marriage to take time for your hubby!!! AND for you to have excersize time for yourself, you go! =)

    I think that stay at home mom, verses work outside the home mom is a debate that gets both side defensive!! We should just be who God created us to be, parent the way we know best (because as you said, you are the one who knows your sweet one, yes?? =) and Live the life God has called us to live and stop judging! That goes out to all the mamas out there!!! =) =)

    Thanks for being honest and posting your heart!!! =)


    Stopping by from Allied Moms!

    Steph
    www.alliedmoms.com
    www.sharingthepagesoflife.com

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  19. i think your list is great. do what works for you! (found you on BF)

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  20. I love that you're a law mama, as I'm a married to a law mama :). And this list is great because what matters isn't so much what's in it but that parenting should be individualized for all of us - we all do our best! Thanks for freeing me of guilt this Friday ;).

    Following from Mom Loop.

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  21. Very good post!!! Just do what works best for you! Your daughter will turn out wonderfully--she's loved and well taken care of. That's what's important!

    Here from Mom Loop Comment Follow.

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  22. Great idea for a post! I need to make this sort of list for myself; I am the queen of guilt, lol.

    Following you from Blogfrog

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  23. Ugh, I never understand why people can be so judgmental when it comes to the way others parent. It's just not their business, you know?
    I'm a runner, and working out makes me a better mom each day. I'm much, much nicer if I get away for some me time ;-)
    Over from Mom Loop!

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  24. I actually get really angry when I read a lot of breastfeeding posts. I don't have kids, but I have also thought there is a chance I won't breastfeed. But you never know.

    They just seem to cast so much judgement if you choose not to.

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  25. As a mother I feel that all you can do is what is best for you and your family at that time, and as long as its not illegal and its done with love there's no need for regrets.

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  26. AMEN. Seriously. There's nothing like a holier than thou super mom looking down her nose at you.

    I was formula-fed. I'm fine. My brothers are fine. I actually ended up breast-feeding, but it wasn't because I felt it would make me mom of the year, and I certainly never once judged a woman for NOT. In fact, I'm still surprised that I chose that route, because it's not really "me."

    I remember when my son was a baby, I used to check out mom communities on LiveJournal and was appalled at how viciously self-righteous some of those ladies could be over things as mundane as cloth diapering versus disposables.

    I applaud you for this post!

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  27. Great post! I work outside of the home and I can relate to your post. It's all about finding balance in your life with kids. We aren't all the same.

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  28. I would have been happy to have JDaniel sleep anywhere. He was always awake.

    My sister's both went back to work after having their children. I am staying home until my son goes to kindergarten. We all feel we made the right choices for our families.

    Stopping from Mom Loop!

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  29. Way to go Mom for sticking up for yourself and your family! You are the only one who knows whats best for you and Liliana! Whatever you and your husband decide is right for her, is right! Hold you're head up tall!!

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  30. Good for you! You shouldn't feel guilt for your decisions. As long as you are doing what is best for your family (according to what you believe is best), what others think doesn't matter. Period. New follower from Mom Loop :)

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  31. Good for you! I'm a mother of 3 (mine are 14, 8 and 7) all three weren't breastfeed - all three are in the gifted programs at their schools. Hate to see how "smart" they'd be if they weren't formula feed. ;)

    Don't ever feel guilty for the choices you make for you and your family. No one knows your family and it's needs as well as you do.

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  32. I say KUDOS to you! In our society everything we see on TV, read in magazines or hear over the internet is screaming for us to feel insignificant! It is hard not to fall into the "Not good enough" trap and Good for you to refuse to feel guilty for your own life! Thank you for posting this - It will help many of us to realize we don't have to feel guilty because we are individuals and make choices that are right for ourselves and our families!

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  33. I enjoyed this post tremendously. I cannot understand how other moms are benefiting from all of the judgment. Found your blog on the blog frog and now I am following. CleverlyChanging.com

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  34. New from BF. I'd say most of these will make you a better mom and I speak from experience :)

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  35. Like your blog. first time here but I am a follower now! follow mine if they interest you.
    Visiting from Mom loop
    My blogs:
    http://btrbb.blogspot.com/
    http://tawnasplan.blogspot.com/

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  36. i agree, this post is great :) love your design. thanks for dropping by my blog, you're welcome back anytime :)

    <3mvv

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  37. I found your blog from Blog Frog Favorite Posts. I am not a mom, but I do notice quite often that the opinions posted on blogs by moms often do seem to lay guilt on other moms that don't do as they do. Pretty judgmental in my opinion. I know your daughter adores you and you are making the very best decisions for YOUR family and that's the most important thing!

    Hope you'll stop by if you get a chance!
    Mrs. O
    http://itsmylifeandmyjourney.blogspot.com

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  38. The funniest retort I ever heard was from a nurse that told my sister when she chose NOT to breastfeed was "not all bottle fed babies are serial killers!". Do what's right for you, and there is always stuff to be guilty about, why ass to that list?

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  39. Ha, ha, I meant to write ADD :)

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  40. Wow finally someone out there in the blog world who thinks like me. I raised 3 kids the oldest will recieve her Master's in English in the fall. They were bottle fed, By a working mom, who took time out for mom time, and me time. Who kids napped on the floor on a big thick quilt (becuse that is where they liked to nap) , who went to day care. and who after it is all said and done are smart, funny, and well ajusted members of society.

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  41. I agree that we all parent differently and find our own mama groove. I've been a moderate all along taking the best of both worlds - working partly from home, partly at the office, part-time daycare, and using one bottle of formula a day from the beginning. For me, it's been the ideal.

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  42. Happy SITS day!
    I couldn't wait to come visit your blog. For starters your another working mom AND you wrote a post about how we shouldn't feel guilty so of course I high-tailed it over here. THANKS for writing this. My little gal is now 15-months and I wasn't physically able to breast feed, which was hard at first but it turned out I was thankful to be able to split the feedings.
    I too am afraid that I'm missing a portion of the mommy gene and have taken comfort in knowing that I'm not the only one who fears this.

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  43. I think when we become moms we inherit guilt. What a great idea to write a post on what you won't feel guilty about anymore!
    Happy SITS day!

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  44. Good for you ... knowing how you want to parent and doing it your way! There isn't a manual out on how to do it ... just Mommy Instinct. :)

    Enjoy your SITS day :)

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  45. Great post!
    I am a stay at home mom. I breastfed. I also put my 1st in daycare 2 mornings a week after I had my 2nd. I also love to workout and my kids go to childcare while I do that. I wish I made more time for "us" time for me and my husband.
    My sister works outside of the home full-time, is the "bread winner" for the family, and still does most of the parenting/domestic duties around the house when she is there! I could never do the job she does, but she also tells me that she could never stay at home all day with kids.
    You (and your husband) are right. There are all kinds of mothers out there. None of us is perfect, but we are all doing our best.
    Happy SITS day, today!

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  46. So glad I saw your feature on SITS and got to this post! It is spot on! There really is no one way to raise a child, and you are right that other moms accusing people of "doing it wrong" does so much harm. Becoming a mother was the most intimidating experience of my life. I was so nervous about doing things right, and therefore very sensitive to those bully moms. Once I gained some confidence in my abilities, I realized how sad it was that I had ever felt inadequate! Here's to supporting other first time (or many time!) mamas, and making sure they know that guilt should not be a part of parenting! :)

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  47. Great post...I'm with you. Whatever works for your family is best for your family! And, when you feel good about yourself, and you are happy, you are a better mommy! Thanks for sharing your blog!

    Good luck applying for residencies! We are two years in, and it is an exciting time!

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  48. I am super late commenting on your blog for your SITS day... but wanted to say I loved this post. The whole mommy guilt thing seems to be a common blog topic and all too common in the motherhood experience! I will tell you from experience that breastfeeding is no easy road. I have heard that each baby can be different when it comes to this, but I've only experienced it once. There have been several times I was not sure I could keep going. I so relate to your feelings about missing part of the "mommy gene." It has seemed to me like most women love and enjoy pregnancy and breastfeeding. I was not a fan of the pregnancy experience either, as a whole. I often have felt like I'm just "weird" because most women seem to get so into it all. It was a loooong 9 months for me, even though up until 30 weeks it went really smoothly. But that was when pre-term contractions started and I had to go pretty much on bedrest (not officially) and do electronic monitoring from home. So... all that to say you are definitely not alone!

    Hope you had a wonderful SITS day.

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  49. Oh, I love this post! My daughter is 3 months old, and everyone I come across has an opinion about my daughter. My daughter actually became extremely dehydrated because my mother-in-law and sister-in-law made me feel so terrible about giving her formula. When I finally switched, my daughter thrived!! Now, I do what's best for my daughter...period! That includes formula, daycare, working out, and lots of time in the walker. Thanks for posting this!

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