January 26

Everyone has heard about new mom guilt by now. We all feel guilt no matter what, about everything from nursing or bottle feeding, cloth or disposable diapers, work or stay at home and possibly a thousand other things.

I have however encountered one version that I did not expect. And let me state now, that I do NOT blame anyone at all for my guilt.

Let me explain.

My acquaintance, we’ll call her Cammie, was expecting her first baby, due the day after I was expecting my seventh, Cookie. I jokingly called us due date buddies. Whether she liked it or not, she laughed along.

She was very vocal on her favorite social media site about her pregnancy, whereas I chose not to even discuss it on there until Cookie was born. But she posted less than glowingly about her pregnancy. Yes, I was uncomfortable, and I felt like a whale, and I had trouble sleeping and at times it was painful, but I was bringing a baby into the world! What a blessing!

On January 4th, I woke up with contractions and two hours later, our little Cookie was born. Yep. You read that right: 2 hours later. I had a natural birth (and not by my choice, let me tell you). I found out later that day that Cammie had begun having contractions the night before. By the end, she had opted to have an epidural (of which I’m still a bit jealous lol) and she had to have a C-section.

So I feel guilty that my birth was so easy and hers was not.

Then I read (again through her favorite social media) that Cammie was having trouble nursing her son. And while Cookie and I had a little bit of a problem, we got it sorted out and she nurses like a champ. (Even if I am worried about having to pump when I go back to work.) Cammie’s son, however, was hospitalized for dehydration and they are still having to supplement with formula.

So I feel guilty that my daughter nurses well.
And I feel guilty that I was lucky enough to avoid needing to supplement this time. (I have had to with one of my sons.)

And I have recently realized that most of the moms that I know (granted they are on their first kids) are so very much the “crunchy” moms about which you hear.

So I feel guilty about not wanting to use cloth diapers (I don’t find them practical).
I feel guilty about not buying organic foods only.
I feel guilty that my kids don’t have severe food allergies.
I feel guilty that I am fortunate enough to have my mother available to keep my kids while I work.

And I am sure I will find more and more things about which to feel guilty.

But maybe we, as mothers, should realize that we can’t be it all.
We can’t do it all.
And no matter what we are going to feel guilty about something.
Instead, perhaps, we should all just give each other a hug every time we pass each other in the grocery store, or at the pick up section at the school, or in the doctor’s office and just acknowledge, even if it is silently, that we are all human. And all of us are going to make someone else feel guilty about something whether we mean to or not. (I know Cammie or my other mom friends don’t intend to make me feel guilty.)
What do you say; want a hug?