Wednesday, June 30, 2010

The Guilt Factor

No one tells you that when you become a mom, you will leave the hospital with a sweet little bundle of joy and a gigantic side order of guilt. It starts out small with little new mom insecurities (why don't I feel bonded to my baby?--she's been inside of me for months!) and can grow to be a huge part of your life if you allow it to. I will note that there are some factors beyond your control i.e. postpartum depression, which I experienced after having Mia. It can be overwhelming to deal with the guilt and anxiety, especially the first time around, so I am a big fan of knowing yourself and knowing when you need to ask for professional help. Even with counseling and medication, I have found that the guilt never goes away.

Sometimes, I think it is worse now that I have two children because I have two little people who count on me in addition to husband, house, and dog. Moms have so many balls to juggle, we need about 8 arms to keep them all up in the air. Obviously, we only have the two arms, so something has to give. There are days when I think that something is my sanity!

Then the guilt sneaks in. It has a way of grabbing hold when we are feeling exhausted, frustrated, and disappointed with ourselves for not being able to be all things to all people (which face it, isn't realistic!) I hear that annoying little voice of guilt telling me that I need to be more patient, need to spend more time with each of the kids individually, need to get more housework done, need to spend more time playing outside, need to give the dog more attention, need to work on communicating better with my husband, and it goes on and on. The guilt chips away at my self-confidence, making me feel like I am letting everyone down. I feel even more guilty when I start to think I need a break from it all. The most ironic part of all is when I feel guilty for wanting me time. It's a vicious cycle of guilt I have yet to break away from (and I suspect that I never will). So, I self-medicate with chocolate!

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