Being a mum; ‘guilty’ as charged

18 Apr

This topic has been blogged to death, but I feel the need to write about it myself.

It is something they call “mother’s guilt“, the one misconception is that people think it really only kicks in when a mum has the emotional dilemma of whether to return to the workforce or not.

Do I put my kids in child care, family care, do I get a nanny?

Should I work full-time, or only 3 days a week?

Can I do 9 to 5 or should I curb it to 10 to 2?

Or should I just stay at home and be a full-time mum?

However for most people this is not the case, it can set in long before you have to make a decision about your career.

For me, the guilt set in on 7 November 2009, the day I did a test and found out I was pregnant with Miss Z, it was very early days, I was lucky to be 4 weeks pregnant.  However I felt guilty over the amount of alcohol I had the night before!  I didn’t know I was pregnant but I felt guilty for not knowing sooner, if that was even possible!

It then spiralled and the guilt set in on what I ate, or didn’t eat.  Morning sickness meant that carbs were my friend, especially hot chips.  Vegetables turned my stomach.  Was I eating well?  No…..but if I ate anything else I would probably throw up; this way I was giving my body some sort of sustanence.

The whole concept of Listeria freaked me out, so I avoided shell-fish, soft cheeses and cured meats like the plague! As much as I loved those foods I would have felt tremendous guilt at even looking at them.  I suffered from “Listeria hysteria“, as I was that paranoid!  However I did not feel guilty about the way I acted, as I knew I was doing something good!

Then the cravings started, Big Macs were all I could think about, when in reality before falling pregnant I was not a fan at all.  But what was all this fat and calories doing to my baby?!?  I felt guilty over my love affair with the “golden arches“, why wasn’t I at home eating a meal consisting of all 5 food groups, and then taking a long walk.   When in actual fact I was sitting in McDonald’s eating my third Big Mac for the day!!! (and maybe there had been a cheeseburger or two along the way as well! 😦 )

Once the cravings passed and Miss Z’s due date loomed the guilt clouded over me AGAIN.  I have a very low pain threshold, so I researched all possible options regarding drugs, drugs and drugs!  I felt guilty for wanting a pain-free birth; I wanted to enjoy the experience, I didn’t want to be traumatised by it, but at what cost to my baby?  Were all options available safe?   Should I just ‘suck it up’ and deal with the pain?

Then once the little bundles of joy arrive into this world, there is further guilt!

You are feeling guilty about whether they are eating enough, sleeping enough, are you reading to them enough, do you stimulate their little minds enough, are their toys educational enough? Enough, enough, enough!

Does it ever end?

What things do you have mummy guilt about?

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4 Responses to “Being a mum; ‘guilty’ as charged”

  1. beachmum April 19, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    agree, agree, agree! I’ve found myself feeling guilty about all of the above. I am a teacher, and I suffer tremendously from ‘working mother’ guilt. My kid goes to a great daycare, but there are ‘little’ things that happen that I can’t fix because I’m not there. It eats me up. The only ‘good’ thing about my gig as a teacher is that I get my summers off. I am counting down the days. 36, to be exact, until I am off on holidays!

    • Jodi @ Mummyhood101 April 19, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

      I have to agree with the day care part; it is hard knowing if they fall over, hurt themselves or get upset whilst they are at day care you can’t console them! 😦 My youngest starts day care in a few months when I have to return to work. I will have to go through all the initial guilt I suffered when my daughter first started! 😦

  2. Nicole Busby April 23, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    I have 3 kids, 10, 13, 18. I still feel guilty over a lot of things, even with my 18yo, he is struggling to find a job, and I feel guilty about not pushing him harder at school. I don’t think it ever goes away.

    • Jodi @ Mummyhood101 April 23, 2012 at 1:00 pm #

      Thanks Nicole, I have been assured by many mums that is never goes away. I guess it is a way to show you always care. Hopefully your son will find a job soon.

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