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I’ll take the MOM part without the GUILT please

November 26, 2012

Motherhood

Guilt

Sometimes I feel like you can’t have the former without the latter. i.e. I feel guilty all the time about everything I do! and everything I don’t do!

the current issue: weaning my 8 month old son.

With my daughter, I was obsessed with pumping every day and nursing her and making sure I was making enough milk. Constantly worrying that I wouldnt. Well, it turned out that she barely drank anything (and still continues that trend) so I had plenty of leftover milk. I didn’t set any goals for when I wanted to keep nursing until, but ended up stopping around 7 months. The main reason? I wanted my body back. Some people look GREAT when they nurse, and they shed weight like crazy. OTHER people (ahem…me) just stack up the fat (as if we don’t have enough already) to put into the milk. Top it all off, all that extra fat is stored in my upper body – my face, chest, arms…it does WONDERS for my already stellar self image.

Here comes the guilt.

Is it worth stopping nursing for my own vanity? To “deprive” my child of the nutrition of breast milk and all the antibodies that come with it (especially during winter time) so that I can “look better?”

Well, like I said, I stopped at 7 months with my daughter. I had enough stored millk to last about another month with her, so she essentially was breast fed until 8 months. Then she had formula for 4 months before switching to “regular” milk. I remember thinking, “what was the big deal??? Why did I have so much angst over giving her formula for a couple of months? I’m NOT going to be so anal about this next time!”

Right!

So now flash forward 3.5 years. Again, no real goal for when I wanted to nurse until – except that I knew I wanted to make it at least 6 months (when infants’ immune systems start to kick in). Well, now I am 8 months post partum and in the process of weaning…and I’m feeling sooooo bad about it. I acutally wasn’t even planning on doing this now – but after my last 12 day stretch of working without having adequate time to pump, my milk supply dwindled quickly. So fast, that I was no longer making enough milk to keep up with S each day. Plus, my breast pump is on its last leg…so there’s that. I decided to stop. And literally every day, every time I warm up frozen milk (not even formula yet!), I beat myself up over it. Thinking: “maybe I should just keep pumping what I can? Maybe I should just keep pumping once at night (this is still a possibility)? Do I really want today to be the last day I ever nurse one of my children ever again? So sad!

Or Maybe I should quilt all together and stop torturing myself? Is it really so bad to start to care about what I look like and what I FEEL like again? After an essentially 4 year hiatus from the time I first got pregnant, perhaps it is about time to start putting a little more importance on what I need to feel good about myself?

I think so.

I’m sure this internal struggle will continue (and sometimes externalize into my husbands blank stares).

Couldn’t I just have all the happiness of motherhood without all the guilt? Or at least a LITTLE less of it?

.

What am I doing now while I write this?

PUMPING

=]

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. November 27, 2012 2:36 PM

    There will ALWAYS be something to feel guilty about – it’s our curse as mothers, we care TOO much! You love your children very much, and you are doing your best by them. I actually fed both of my boys formula right from the start, and they are both doing wonderfully now! I felt a little guilty about it at first, but when I saw how well they were doing, I decided to just go with it. We will always question what we do, wondering if we should be doing something else. As long as our kids are happy, healthy, and we are doing with we can for them, everything will be fine! You are a great Mommy!! 🙂

    • November 27, 2012 2:41 PM

      Thanks Holly, you too! I can’t imagine the extra layers of issues you deal with between your own issues and your kids. I am always impressed when I read about the things you are going through and how you are dealing with it! It definitely takes a village – not just to raise the kids but also to keep us sane! Thanks for the encouragement!

  2. June 4, 2013 2:07 PM

    I can relate to the guilty feeling, but then again, I think any mom can 🙂
    You should do what you feel best with doing, and when you’re feeling ok, you’re baby and family will be happy as wel
    Regards
    from Belgium

    • June 8, 2013 9:00 AM

      Thanks Regina. You are right! I appreciate the comment

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