The Guilt Game

 

Breast is best. You must be a bad mom if you feed your kid formula. Don’t forget to buy the organic wipes, you wouldn’t want to put toxins all over your babies bottom. Oh you work full time? You must not be spending enough time with your kid. You wear your baby? Better be careful they may turn out to be too dependent on you. Don’t forget you aren’t supposed to rock your baby to sleep, they need to learn how to fall asleep on their own. Oh but don’t let your baby cry it out, they will feel neglected. Don’t introduce the paci too soon, they may get nipple confusion. But then again studies show that it reduces the risk for SIDS. So maybe you should give them the paci. Oh but I forgot, you aren’t supposed to let them get dependent on something like a paci or blanket for a sleep aide. So on the other hand maybe skip the paci. Make sure you read all the books on sleeping. They will get your baby to sleep through the night.

On and on the all the opinions and advice goes. The good news is we have an abundance of knowledge at our finger tips. The bad news is we have an abundance of knowledge at our finger tips. So many opinions and studies out there. So many do’s and don’t’s with raising a child. You bring your baby home from the hospital and you want to be the perfect mom. So you research everything from how to get your baby to sleep through the night, to what brand of wipes to buy. You spend hours trying to get it right, only to find out your baby may not respond the way you think they should. You read comments from moms on different sites. You stress out trying to do this mom thing perfect.

Then when it doesn’t go exactly according to the book you start feeling guilty. You may think you are a bad mom because you can’t even follow a little advice. Or maybe you start feeling guilty because you do something that is not considered the “golden standard”. There seems to be so much judgement in the mama world. I feel so blessed to have an abundance of awesome mom’s that I can talk to. I have never felt judged by them, only encouragement. For that I am extremely thankful. Yet, somehow my friend google tends to override them with all its “expert knowledge.” I find myself clicking on the “is formula really ok to feed your child” pin on pinterest. I feel defeated after reading how “many toxins” are in formula and if you MUST feed your child formula, you really need to do it organically. On and on the advice rages. On and on the mommy wars go. All that comes of it is negativity. Some advice is well meaning, while other advice is very matter of fact and hurtful.

I struggle with the mommy guilt. But as each day goes by and I learn my daughter more and more, I begin to realize that every child is different. Every situation is different. None of us have it figured out, even if we think we do. While what works for one family, may not work for another family. I tried so hard to follow the books and all the expert advice, but it left me a stressed out mess. One thing I know, is that kids can sense your stress. So I am giving up, I am going with my mommy instincts and letting go of the mommy guilt. I love my daughter with my whole heart and only want what is best for her. I do my best every day and I know I come no where close to being a perfect mom. But at the end of the day my daughter is fed, clothed, loved and nurtured. That’s all that really matters. We as mom’s need to let go of the mommy guilt. We need to let go of the mommy judgment. Instead we need to band together and lift each other up. Encourage each other and vow to stop comparing. To start believing you are a great mom. You are doing the best you can and that is good enough!

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