What mother doesn't feel guilty? I feel guilty pretty much the second my alarm goes off each morning. "Shoot, I didn't make Isabel's bottle..." and so the day of guilt begins.  Basically the only time I don't feel guilty is when Isabel is attached to my boob and even then I'm thinking "Man, I wish I was producing more milk." I've turned into a human cow yet I still can't cut myself some slack. WTF!!!

I've always know this guilt issue was there. I'm pretty sure I felt guilty about a lot of things even before I had Isabel, but I was so in to myself, my "me time," my manicures, shopping trips, vacations & time with Joe, that I just don't think I recognized it. It was easier to push the guilt aside & worry about it when I didn't have anything else to do. Now the clock has become my enemy, a constant nagging voice that just makes the guilt harder to push aside. "I'm late for a meeting! I didn't pump today! I'm missing my bus! That's 20 minutes less with Isabel! I need to drive the nanny home! I haven't spoken with Joe all day! Guilt, guilt, guilt!!!!!"

Why this sudden realization that I'm guilty 24/7?? My friend Courtenay, a non-mom who had the pleasure of working with about 7,243 crazy mothers, shared an interesting article on guilt written by a fellow (yet MUCH more famous) mommy-blogger. The blogger always feels like she's going on & on & on about the sufferings of being a mom (I mean, I have nooooo idea what she's talking about) and apologizing for her hormonal misbehavior. Her fears are very similiar to mine so let me be the first to welcome you to the crazy land of "Karyn's World of Guilt."

-I still feel guilty that I left Isabel to go back to work at 3 months old. Then I returned to work & felt guilty that I hadn't worked in 3 months.
-I feel guilty on the weekends if I run any errands without Isabel, but then I haul her along with me & feel bad if someone sneezes near her, she remotely looks unhappy or I have to change her in the back seat of our car.
-I feel guilty about only seeing Isabel for 2 hours a day, but then I feel guilty wanting alone time.  
-I feel guilty if an outfit is too tight on her but then I feel bad if she doesn't wear everything in her closet.
-I felt so bad that she wasn't facing me in the stroller when we'd go for walks that I spent a small fortune on a new facing-me stroller. But now I feel guilty that I spent that sort of money for 4 wheels that roll in dirt & dog poop.
-I feel guilty every time I don't pump enough breast milk for her, but then I feel guilty if I'm pumping instead of spending time with her.
-I feel guilty if I have the TV on when she's in the room, but then I feel bad if I'm behind on the View
-I feel guilty if I don't make her baby food, but then I feel guilty if she doesn't like what I've made.
-I feel guilty if I'm with Isabel & paying attention to my phone instead of her,but then I feel horrible for not calling or emailing my friends back.

I can keep many hours do you have? This post isn't meant to be my pity-party of 1. I am head-over-heels in love with Isabel & being a mother. I think most of you reading this are pity-partying too & we've all got one heck of a guilt hangover! What I'm hoping we can all do, myself included, is to start appreciating & accepting what we can offer to our families, children, work and ourselves. We're only one person & there are only 24 hours in a day. We need to embrace the guilt cause in the end, it's actually driving us to be better moms. By feeling bad that I'm running late or not home, it pushes me to make the time I am with her be about quality, not quantity. The guilt has reared it's ugly head and it's not going away anytime soon, so much like my gray hair, I'm going to embrace what God gave me and figure how to live with it (or color the sh*t out of it, much like my hair).


Suzie 1/28/2011  

Thanks Karyn, I feel ya! I've always been full of guilt, my Mom says it's because of our Jewish heritage but I'm only 1/4 Jewish so I think it's just me! This is well timed for me since I'm gearing up to go back to work and pumping like a fiend (even at 3am this morning when both boys were sleeping and I should have been too but I wanted to seize that prolactin surge!).
Here's to quality time with our kids!!

Amy M.,  1/28/2011  

I completely agree. I didn't know what guilt was until I had children! Unfortunately it hasn't stopped in 4.5 years since I had my son and probably only got worse as then you have another child and feel guilty that you can't always divide your attention evenly as someone is always getting more at one moment in time as they are sick or whatever and the other is upset. But, cut yourself some slack and you will be happier if you can figure out how to be less guilt ridden. If you figure it out though let me know :-)

Kelly T 2/01/2011  

I'm SCREWED ....I feel guilty for everything NOW before having a baby!

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