Monday, February 28, 2011

Musings on Motherhood, Part 3

Mommy Guilt...

So it turns out that motherhood is full of inherent guilt trips.. If you don’t do this, you feel guilty.. Or if you do that, you feel even more guilty.. So how does it all even out?

I’m not gonna lie, I knew the first few months after Carter was born would be hard.. but they were harder than I expected. Like I said before, I felt like I had lost a part of myself after having a baby. But I didn’t expect to feel so much guilt for what I was doing.

I felt guilty first off for not feeling an immediate connection with my baby. Sure, I loved him, but I kept thinking to myself, shouldn’t I just be gushing with joy at this moment?

Then I felt guilty for not liking breastfeeding. I thought I would like it, but it was a struggle and not a joyful time. I knew I should keep doing it for my baby, but I couldn’t shake the guilty feeling for not enjoying that special time with Carter.

Then I would feel guilty for forgetting that I had a child. He slept in our room in the Pack ‘n Play for the first 8 weeks, right next to my side of the bed. He would start fussing, and wake me up from a deep sleep, and I would immediately felt guilty for actually forgetting that I had gone through labor, my pregnancy was done, and that my child was actually right next to me. It’s like my dreams ignored that big event in my life. I felt bad that I wasn’t dreaming about Carter and that the dream version of me didn’t have a kid.

I still feel guilty for not wanting to spend every waking moment with my baby. Sometimes, I just want to be by myself, taking a bath, or reading a book. I work full-time, and sometimes I just want to relax. Then I remember how blessed we are to have a healthy and happy baby, and I feel guilty for ever having these thoughts.

So, is this a lifetime problem? Will I always look back at my kids’ lives and wonder if it was me that made them turn out a certain way?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Musings on Motherhood, Part 2

Ok, so what I’m learning about being a mom is that I need to be less selfish.

I guess that’s why it is in God’s plan for us to have children. We can become more and more like him with each passing day.. if we can handle it.

To have a child, I gave up my body. The stretch marks and spare tire prove it.

I gave up my time. I spent many hours at the doctor’s office, more hours on the couch due to my swollen ankles, and hours spent on Babycenter or reading materials about pregnancy, babies, and the like.

I gave up my money. My hospital bill was over $20K.. Good thing I have good insurance! I also am investing significant money in daycare monthly.

But my goodness.. I do not want to give up my sleep!

Anyways, during my maternity leave, I put so much into Carter I felt like I lost myself. I didn’t wear makeup for months. I could not cook or bake. I hardly even laughed or made jokes. I felt so drained from my responsbilities and the pressure to be completely selfless and focused on the baby that I lost my sight of the big picture—i.e. raising a well-adjusted child while I can stay sane. I even worried if I had post-partum depression.

So yeah.. the last week of my maternity leave, things finally started to normalize (is that a word?). And when I went back to work, I actually felt like myself again.. except I had added a new adjective to my description: mom.

I may not be selfless yet, or not even close, but I’m at least trying..

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Baby Sadie.. for now

One year of this tiny baby... How do I describe this contrary and adorable creature? This is going to be a picture and video heavy post.. ...