Monday, March 25, 2013

A Mother's Guilt

After five months of my new reality, my lack of sleep is finally catching up with me. It's Official....I'm pooped. On top of my extreme fatigue, I've been experiencing these strange instincts or feelings of guilt since becoming a mom. I didn't have expectations going into this parenting thing, and no one is straight up making me feel in-the-wrong, but I just have these moments where I realize I'm  beating myself up emotionally about various motherhood scenarios that result in this inner guilt.  Do other moms feel this way? I guess this post is my way of airing out my dirty laundry in hopes that some of you are willing to admit you know what I'm talking about. Since you know how much I love lists, here it goes:
It look me a month to write this post. This is Pennie helping me blog, parked in her bumbo on Evie's desk.

My Top 5 Self Inflicted Guilt Trips
  1. Your House is Too Dirty to Sit Guilt.  This is the guilt I feel when I've been working for 12 hours, I come home, pump, nurse, feed a family, rock a baby to sleep and I decide to sit down for a minute...I instantly start thinking: there's dishes that need washed, laundry that needs done, dogs that want walked....why do you think you can sit?!?!  So you get up and zombie walk to the kitchen to do dishes....for the 4th time today.  
  2. The Morning After Guilt.  So I've been hearing all these baby paradise stories about wee ones that sleep through the night at three months. Its been five months and I'm still waiting for my turn for just one measly night of rest. We're still nursing, so this may be contributing, but Pennie wakes up these days about 5-6 times a night. I'm reaching my boiling point, so when I hear those milk thirsty cries I THROW THE COVERS OFF and scream "ARE YOU KIDDING ME???!!!!!!" Tommy wishes he could help but the whole 'not lactating' thing throws a curve ball his direction. So he rubs my back and sweetly kisses my forehead saying "Thank you.", "I'm sorry", or "I love you two." I wake up every morning resenting my sleep deprived reactions and feel like I need to apologize to Tommy AND Pennie.  Tommy, I'm sorry.  I love you too!
  3. The Bow Chicka Wow Wow Guilt.  Being married to a hormonal woman who spends half of her time at home with her junk hanging out HAS to be kinda weird for a husband, or maybe it's torture?  Because maybe it puts you in the mood?  Well, having MY knockers sucked and pulled on for the majority of my day by a slobbering, crying baby OR a breast pump doesn't really make me want to do THAT in my "free time."  In the past, going to bed early might have meant 'grown-up FUN time', now it means something else.  Dear Husband, I'm sorry if I'm sending you mixed signals, and I'm sorry that your baby is cock blocking you.  I truly DO feel guilty about it. I promise my lack of mojo isn't permanent.  I'm madly in love with you too.
  4. The Working Mom's Guilt. I spend a minimum of 10 hours a day at my workplace.  I'm thankful for a job that provides for my family, and I enjoy what I do for a living.  I also appreciate that it gives me mental stimulation in a world surrounded by stuffed toys, rattles and cartoons.   But after approximately the 9th hour when my boobs feel like they're about to explode, that means I'm ready to go home to my baby.  Once I get home, I pump (again!), nurse a baby (again!), do dishes (again!) and all I want is a little break.  At this point, Tommy or Evie have been juggling house work and a baby all day, so I feel this inner conflict...I miss my baby, and I want to hold her...I also feel like it's my turn to tend to her needs.  But she's busy and needs constantly entertained. This mama is TIRED!  So I feel guilty that I want to volunteer to do things like laundry or dishes (because these things are "a break" now).  
  5. The You Don't Need That Guilt. I give many props to caffeinated beverages, as these are what fuel me to getting through a day. To you working-nursing moms who are dodging coffee and wine, I don't know how you do it!  It's what keeps me hanging on to my last ounce of sanity (since everything is measured in ounces for babies).  I have purchased more Starbucks in the past month than I have in the past two years! And the worst part is, it's not boosting my alertness AND I feel guilty about spending money on myself instead of a baby's savings or college fund...
At the end of the day I am eternally grateful for this precious gift of life Tommy and I have been given.  And there isn't a guilty feeling in the world that makes me wish I wasn't going through all of this right now.  I'm motivated constantly by telling myself  "This too shall pass."  And when Pennie has grown out of her majorly needy phase, I'll have pictures to look back and remember her cute bear suit, her drool covered chin, that toothless grin and tiny fingers.  I certainly won't be saving a photo montage of the towers of dirty dishes and piles of unwashed those things too shall pass.  But my love for our family can only grow!  
Pennie Helping me do LAUNDRY! Check her missing sock! (I don't know why stinkin BLOGGER won't let me remove that stupid 1. on the list side of this photo....ARGH!)