Sunday, May 17, 2009

Mother Guilt

I have been feeling a familiar feeling lately. It is what I felt when I was newly married. I tried to make our basement apartment cute and homey. But then I would go visit other newlywed friends and, to me, theirs was always more cute, more clean, more homey, etc. I obsessed about this to the point where I couldn't enjoy my own home. It wasn't until Nick came home from school one day and threw himself on the couch and said, "I am so glad to be home, it feels so nice here" that I realized that I had made it our home and I never worried about it again. Well, since having Brady, and talking to other moms and seeing other mom's with their little ones, I am starting to feel something familiar. I feel guilty about how I am doing EVERYTHING!!! I don't swaddle him, hold him enough, play with him enough, do tummy time enough, blah, blah, blah....Luckily for me, I found notes from a talk I heard at Time Out for Women that came at just the right time. The speaker was Emily Watts and she was fantastic. She talked about being moms in these latter days. She said great little tidbits like "mothers are just people" and "don't feel guilty about the things you can't control". These meant little to me then but have all the more meaning now and were enough to shake me out of my funk last week. So, these are the things I am no longer going to feel guilty about:
  1. having to supplement Brady's feedings with formula.
  2. letting him cry it out every once in a while
  3. not holding him 24 hours a day
  4. his hatred for tummy time - he will survive and thrive, the pediatrician assures me!
  5. Brady's love for a binky
Brady is healthy and happy and after an almost 45 minute talk with his pediatrician on Friday, I am finally convinced that I am doing a pretty okay job. Just a point of reference on how insane I got: Before Brady's 2 month appointment I was obsessing about how he just wasn't growing. Everybody kept saying how small he was and I noticed that he was still wearing newborn clothes - these things are not a big deal but at the time......I WAS OBSESSED!! So at Brady's appointment I literally asked his doctor if Brady was going to be a midget - please hold your laughs! I had convinced myself that he was not growing and that something was wrong. The sweet, amused doctor tried his hardest not to laugh and lovingly reminded me that Nick and I aren't giants among men and that Brady is growing - he'll probably just be short like both his parents. God bless that man for not laughing out loud and cracking my paper thin sanity at the moment! My favorite quote from Emily Watts talk was this: "Motherhood provides us the very opportunity to provide for "the least of these". I feel this so strongly. He is our son but he is also one of Heavenly Father's children and I will not mess this up! And it seems I am not......so far! Brady's 4 month stats: Height: 24 in - 25% Weight: 13 lbs 10 oz - 25% Head: 16 in.

15 comments:

Bloom Family said...

Oh Amanda, I love you. I have no doubt in my mind that you are being an amazing mother. BTW, all the things you feel guilty about ... I, um, think are great things! :) full tummy, getting sleep when he needs it, being independent, getting strong (hard work doing strength training sometimes ;) ) Sounds like you're doing quite a few things right to me.

sending loves and miss you

Laurie LC Lewis said...

You're a great mom! And that's one happy, healthy, handsome baby you've got there! I can't imagine how you could do anything better!

Kayla said...

Another good mothering tip, don't listen to everyone. People's opinions are just opinions. He is looking beautiful.

Matt & April Herman said...

My sweet friend. It is so sad how well I know those feelings. But I can reassure you, from some one who knows you pretty well, That you are an amazing woman. Brady couldn't have gone to a more loving wonderful Mother and Father. You are a natural:) Love you! Another tip... Trust yourself, you know what is best for your child.

Englishfam said...

Amanda you crack me up! Thanks for your honesty, I know we ALL feel this way at times. Just to make you feel a little better, I read a study that binkys actually have been proven to help prevent SIDS. I guess because it keeps a baby's airway more open...I was happy to tell that to my in-laws who think they are just germ magnets! haha Anyway, I know you are doing a great job with him, and never listen to other people, everyone is just trying to one up each other anyway!! Love ya!

Nicole said...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Brady and he'll be fine! Oh course you're doing a great job. A mother's love for her child equips her with all the tools needed to properly care for a little one.

Scrap Happy said...

Can't wait to meet and squeeze that MIDGET LONG BABY! HAHAHAHAHahahahahahaha...

I could list a million things I've done wrong with my kids, and feel guilty about. That's why I've stopped at three - don't want to ruin any more!

You ROCK.

Jean Bean said...

What a gem you are. A true beautiful heartfelt gem of a mother and a person. I would have thought something similar to my son being a midget, but I know you would have loved him regardless! Love you tons!

Becky said...

Amanda, you are so cute. I love how open and honest you are. I think we all have felt that way at one time or another so thank you for the reminder! I don't doubt that you are a perfectly wonderful mother!

Danielle said...

I think we all have feelings of inadequacies a lot of the time! I am going through the SAME thing all over again now that I have teenagers! And they grow...Lilly was 8 pounds at 4 months and now towers over me!

p.s. send me your email address and I'll invite you to my private blog. danirice@gmail.com

Parkinson Family said...

Oh Amanda how I miss you! Great post! Mackenzi didn't do much tummy time, she's a little bit of a late crawler, but who cares right? You are a wonderful caring mother. Join us (Eldersburg ward moms)for some summer mommy baby fun for Tuesday picnics and Friday outings!

Amanda and Brandon Jamison said...

I felt that way too....I still catch myself comparing what Tessa is doing with what other babies her age are doing and getting worried if She isn't doing what they are doing. I would feel guily too when I would give Tessa formula once in awhile. Its hard not too. Its nice to get those reminders that you are doing a GREAT job and that everything will work out and in his OWN time. You have nothing to worry about, I am sure he is PERFECT!

Natalie said...

I love honest blog posts! I know it is so easy to compare ourselves, but yeah, everybody's different, and just does things differently. Brady is a lucky baby.

Krista said...

OKAY- you are HILARIOUS. Dang, I miss you. Funny thing about guilt is it's irony. Of course you feel guilty about all of that, but if you held him 24/7, didn't give him the binky, didn't supplement him..etc. you'd end up with one ANGRY baby who couldn't self-soothe, and had no self confidence and was undernourished. You are actually doing him a HUGE favor. Let the guilt go, man. Not that I can easily let it go myself, but it's more fun not to feel guilty.

Starley Family said...

Amanda you are amazing. I love that you asked the ped if he was going to be a midget...reminds me of past conversations with different peds along the way. You are phenomenal in every way. Don't sweat the small stuff. The other mom's are probably questioning you seeking wisdom.