Monday, April 25, 2011

How Mommy Guilt is Taking Years Off My Life

Pregnancy and childbirth has always intrigued me.   It may have started when I had the fortune/misfortune of seeing my (much) younger sister born.  

That's her, by the way.  Hot Stuff McGhee.   One of my favorite hobbies is finding pictures like this of her.  

Anyways, after seeing Hot Stuff born I was pretty hooked.  Not like 16 and Pregnant hooked, but interested none the less.  It really is fascinating if you stop and think about it.   9 months (or as the Rooster says after dealing with a pregnant me a couple times "40 weeks sounds more like 10 months to me!")  and a whole new person is created. 

Well, lo and behold, approximately on day 3 of the Rooster and my honeymoon I became pregnant.   Surprise, surprise!   Beats the other souvenirs we brought back from Mexico with us by far. 

Anyways, finding myself all up and impregnated, I did what I always do when something new happens in my life.  I Googled my fingers to the bone in my relentless pursuit on becoming intimately acquainted with what exactly was going on with that tiny soul growing in my belly and heart.  

In my incessant Googling, I stumbled upon a message board of other Googln' Mommas-to-be who were expecting around the same time as me.   Upon meeting this group of women (many of whom I keep in contact with today... Hey girls!!)  my eyes were opened to something that What to Expect When You Are Expecting doesn't touch.  

It is in a nutshell what is called Mommy Guilt    Apparently, somewhere along all my learnings I missed the fact that when it comes to parenting, more specifically mothering, there are some very strong opinions on what to do and even stronger on what not to do.   And the craziest part of all is that sometimes most of the time you drive yourself insane trying to decide what exactly what your own opinion on child rearing exactly looks like. 

For example:

Natural vs Medicated Birth

Cloth vs 'Posie (Diapering for those who haven't walked this road)

Circumcision vs Non-circumcision (Penises for those who don't have one.   Oh, and I don't.... Goose tells me that every night while naming what everyone she knows has.)

Breast vs Bottle

And those are just a sampling of that a new mother gets to make before she even takes her precious bundle home from the hospital.   I've got to tell you, I wasn't prepared for all this.  I thought I'd make my choices and then leave it at that.   I didn't even really think of them as choices to be honest.   I was just going to do what my family (disposable diapers) or culture (circumcision) or educated choice (breastfeeding) told me to do.    

But it wasn't that simple because when I became with child, every choice I made took on new meaning.  

"What if using disposable diapers leaves him sterile?"

"What if breastfeeding leads him to be a weirdo with an infatuation with breast?"

"What if they cut off more than they are suppose to?"   (I likely just lost any male readers I may have had.)

The what if's went on and on.   And the crazy part is that Mommy Guilt continues to keep me awake a night nearly 5 years in now.  Only now it is a totally different set of questions...  

"What if he isn't really ready for kindergarten?"  

"What if she doesn't learn to potty till she's 15?"   *Disclaimer... I am totally okay with her not pottying yet.  See... Mommy Guilt made me write that.  

And the biggest biggie of all the big "what if's"...

"What if they resent me for having to work?"  

And furthermore, I realize that someday the "what if's" will become even bigger. 

"What if she doesn't realize what a huge jerk he is to her?"


"What if he drives too fast and...."  

And so on and so on and so on.  

I've come to the conclusion that the "what if's" of Mommy Guilt are never going to go away.  I take that back.  I am sure one day the "what if's" will be replaced with "I wish I would have...".  

Additionally, I've come to realize that there is a purpose to this Mommy Guilt aside from the bags it has put under my eyes.   The purpose is that the choices I make about them and for them are some of the most important I will ever be allowed to make.   I won't ever get a "re-do" with Bub's or Goose's childhoods.   So, I guess even if they do give me the finger in their Easter picture, they are worth all the self-doubt and questioning I put myself through.  

So, for fellow guilt ridden mothers....   What is you deepest Mommy Guilt, and how do you deal with it? 

No comments:

Post a Comment