1. Favor or goodwill.
2. Mercy, clemency, pardon.
It’s real. I said it.
It’s getting worse as the years go by and there are parenting rules for every.little.thing.
“Back to Sleep”
“Breast is Best”
“Rear Facing 4Evar”
“No peanuts before 1”
Then the next month:
“Give’em all the peanuts!” (not really, just read the AAP’s guidelines)”
Ladies, I can tell you as someone who wasn’t able to breastfeed my twins, but pumped for 6 months and tried desperately that whole time to breastfeed… I am the self-appointed Queen of Mom Guilt. I pumped enough for 1.5 babies and had to supplement with formula. 6 months was my goal for pumping and then I stopped.
I honestly wished I had stopped sooner because pumping 24/7 plus trying to breastfeed left me with no sleep, lots of guilt and really bad postpartum depression and anxiety.
At six months we slowly transitioned to formula, and our boys did just fine. Of course it wasn’t what I would have ever wanted in the beginning. I still wish I had been able to breastfeed both of them (as does our bank account). But 2 years has given me some perspective.
You HAVE to give yourself a break from the guilt. I know right in that moment it is hard to imagine anything but doing everything physically possible to feed them exactly how nature intended. It is okay for them to crab a little in their bouncy seat so you can take a 5 minute shower. Bring them in the bathroom with you, sing and talk to them. Sleep training is not going to harm your child. They will not grow up to be an axe murderer who hates their mom. YOU DON’T HAVE TO MAKE YOUR OWN GOSH DARN BABY FOOD.
I had all the guilt.
I wish I had given myself a little more grace. I think we all do the best we can and we get so much pressure on us to do everything perfectly. Follow all the new ‘we know better now’ rules.
But there is going to come a day when it isn’t going to REALLY matter, just as long as they’re fed and growing, happy and healthy. We know that you are doing the best you can, and THAT is enough.
My boys are happy and healthy at almost 2 1/2. I’m a recovering mess, though. Not enough sleep for too long, anxiety and depression have made it harder to be a mom and just be me.
Save a little bit of time, care, and love for yourself. Give yourself some grace. Do something about your ppd now. Don’t wait. Talk to your doctor. See a psychiatrist and/or psychologist.
——>Self-care<—— OMG guys. SO important. More than just grabbing a shower. Get a babysitter. Go get coffee or a smoothie with a friend you probably haven’t seen in forever. Don’t feel guilty while you do it. Scratch that. It’ll take awhile before you won’t feel guilty, but the earlier you start, the easier it will get. Go to the gym. Go for a walk. Listen to music YOU enjoy, instead of being me and listening to the “Baby Lullabye” station on Pandora all day long. For a year.
I look back at me as a mama 2 years ago and my heart breaks for her. I was so anxious and sad and desperate to be the best mother I could. I wish I could give her a hug and tell her this: it’s going to be alright. You’re going to make it through this. Please love yourself and care about you, too. Because you matter. Yes, your children are important, but you matter just as much. One day your children will be growing and happy and healthy, and you are going to look in the mirror and wonder what the heck happened. Learn your lesson a little earlier than I did, love.
Kindness. Love. Grace. Just for you. Mama, you are important.