Besides spending time with the little babe, the other thing that I spend most of my waking hours doing is feeling guilty. I guess this is normal? How long does it last? Will my daily meditation and gratitude practices help me get over this?
Just for fun, I thought I’d list a bunch of things off the top of my head that I have felt guilty for over the past 6 months. You’ll see why my anxiety levels are pretty high when my mind is constantly on self-attack mode.
Things I feel guilty for:
- Having to add formula to our regular feeding regimen
- Not reaching out to people and waiting for them to contact me
- Getting frustrated with the baby for not sleeping, crying in the car, spilling her bottle all over her face and clothes…
- Having the TV on (seriously, the TV didn’t even get turned on for her first 5 months of life. I’ve finally decided that my own self-care is worth something and have started watching things once in a while)
- Not bringing her outside more during the nice summer months
- Not going to the community store to show her off and meet our neighbours
- Saying the wrong things
- Doing the wrong things
- Using the wrong things
- Not getting Thank You cards out in a timely fashion
- Feeling depressed
- Worrying about work
- Wishing for time to go by quickly
- Stressing about time going by too quickly
- Not remembering what people gave her so I could take a picture of her with/in it and send it to them
- Not going places because it’s a hassle
- Worrying about her nap/sleep schedule and being angry with people for not understanding
- Not being a good wife
- Feeling like I’m putting too much on my husband (he works all day, does ALL THE THINGS around the house, laundry, meals, bedtime routine)
- Not knowing how to dress the baby appropriately for the different seasons
- Bailing on Mommy Dates
- Not taking care of myself
- Wanting to be away from the baby
- Not being Super-Mom
- Spending money
- Getting defensive and feeling pressured when people give advice
- Taking the entire 12 month parental leave and not giving any to my husband
- Not getting the cutesy Pinterest-like photos done of her
So, that only took me about 10 minutes. I’m sure I could make a list triple the size if I just gave myself more time.
Mindfulness has seriously got to be the key to get myself out of this spiral of self-loathing. I know that when I catch myself having any of these thoughts, I have to acknowledge them, and then speak truth to myself.
So when I’m thinking, “Frig, why can’t I be SuperMom? All these other moms seem to have their shit together and then there’s me who’s just a hot mess and not able to do anything right.” I can acknowledge the thought and change my narrative to, “You are a great mom. You are doing the best you can and you are enough for your baby.”
Here’s to being enough, even when we don’t feel like we are.
And to all those mamas out there who are on the constant wave of guilt – I’m right here with you.