Tag Archives: guilt

Motherhood with a side of guilt (Part II)

29 Jan

I sent a link to my blog to one of my high school friends whose wife is pregnant.  He wrote back half-jokingly that he might have to stop reading my blog after his baby is born if all I’m going to talking about is what an easy baby Lucy is.  Now, I don’t think that’s what the blog is about so far, but just in case, I feel compelled to clarify that I’m not just going to be writing about puppies and rainbows and adorable pictures of Lucy.   (Okay, yes, so I will be posting lots of adorable pictures of Lucy–can you blame me??)

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Token cute Lucy photo

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Mini-meltdown — no one is immune!

I was in a bit of a funk earlier today. I haven’t been sleeping well the last few nights, so I’m generally exhausted. Then I had the boring breakfast meeting I already wrote about. The creative juices just haven’t been flowing today like they were earlier this week. And I haven’t even have the energy today to focus on Lucy as much as I would like. This, in turn, makes me feel guilty (yes, this again). I am blessed to have a long maternity leave with my baby, who I love to pieces. Shouldn’t I be able to muster the energy to spend all day talking to her, playing with her, and singing to her? She certainly deserves that. But sometimes, all I can do is lay her on her activity mat, jingle the dangling birds for her, and do some halfhearted baby talk while I drink my tea/check my email/etc.  Today when Lucy fell asleep in her swing I fell asleep on the couch, and it was all I could do to motivate for our daily neighborhood walk (but I did — this is why I put that resolution on the blog, to hold me accountable!)  It was just one of those days.

This made me think of a great article I read on Huffington Post a couple of weeks ago by Amy Morrison (of Pregnant Chicken, see my blogroll)- “Why You’re Never Failing as a Mother.”  Basically, the article says, the standard for parenting used to be much lower. As long as babies were fed, clothed, and bathed, that was enough:

As for the past generations that like to tell you that they raised six kids on their own and did it without a washing machine? Well, sort of. Keep in mind child rearing was viewed pretty differently not that long ago and you could stick a toddler on the front lawn with just the dog watching and nobody would bat an eye at it — I used to walk to the store in my bare feet to buy my father’s cigarettes when I was a kid. 

Now, Morrison says, we are expected to teach our children sign language and Cantonese, cook organic baby food, go to Mommy & me, etc. on top of all the basic baby care tasks.  Not that I think we shouldn’t want to teach and interact with our children as much as we can – but I also agree with her that if some days are better than others in that department, it doesn’t mean that we’re failing as mamas.

This was just what I needed to remind myself of today.  And tomorrow is a new day.

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