Mom Guilt, For Real.

Mom guilt is real, and it’s exhausting.

Although there are a million parenting books that our out there, there is actually no real guide to raising YOUR kid.

I am constantly weighing options. Trying to balance our families life. Not trying to completely lose myself in the process. But every one’s life is so different!

It’s some what impossible for any one to give you the answers.

EVERY ONE give you an opinion, but no one will give you the right answer. Never mind the fact that as a new Mom you are in hormonal shit storm. AUNTIE EM!!!

The day after I gave birth to our second child, my husband actually said to me at the hospital, 
“geez hormones. hormones. hormones. 
I’m beginning to think that is a word you 
just made up to be mean to me.” 
I just turned and looked at him with an expression that can only be described as, 
 my”OH I will kill you” face!

I can only speak from personal experience, but hormonal changes are challenging because not all the days are bad. Most of the time, you are fine. Hormones just creep up on ya and rear it’s head in different ways depending on the person.

For me, looking back on pregnancy and postpartum time, I would say a lot over analyzing. Excessive worrying about things that maybe weren’t that big of deal.

I guess that’s just the new Mom deal.

The unknown.

The unwanted advice.

The strange characters you meet in birthing class and waiting rooms along the way. The actual act of giving away your body for that time and just kinda seeing what happens. Because, let’s face it, there is no turning back in that situation. The train has left the station.

 Should I be feeding the baby organic formula?
Couldn’t even breast feed my kids. Way to go boobs. Good for nothing.
Gosh, the case is $40 bucks for the organic stuff and smudge dog has been going through one a week. Beast mode. Well, I could just buy the Gerber stuff right? I mean, I would like to think I am going to go on vacation again in my life. Someday?? Formula and diapers add up.
Ughhhh but could I be more selfish? Feeding my kids chemicals just because I feel like swimming in the pacific ocean? Wow Mom. Real nice. I bet Gwen from baby music class doesn’t feed Winston and Sophia chemicals. BUT boys, Bikram yoga is expensive. That is what actually makes me nice! I need to be nice Mom. Taking care of myself cost money as well. See? A never ending circle. Where do you find balance?
Win the lottery? Ya but don’t all those people just get divorced, go bankrupt, and wind up dead anyways? There is literally a show called, “The lottery ruined my life.” So how do you adjust your budget to reflect what is important to all four family members in your house. What a challenging transition. New parent problems for sure.

 “Oh my gosh. How could you not feed your baby organic formula? You are monster. Selfish.”
-You say to yourself one day
“We have other crap to pay for and millions of babies are perfectly fine with Gerber Brit! Relax.” 
– You say the next day
“Oh man, I wish I could have breast fed my kids. That’s the most organic formula!!”
-You say the next week
“Com’on Brit! Why beat yourself up? Your kids are FINE, smart, funny, healthy, awesome, and all of that was beyond your control. Cut yourself some slack.”
-You say an hour later
“Why am I wasting so much time worrying about something like this?”
-You think to yourself

Because you are a new Mom. Worry be thy name.
I don’t worry to the point of ruining our day. Ultimately I just make the best possible decision for my family and respect everyone else’s decisions for their own family. But this is the inner monologue that run through my head in the mean time.

It’s Mom guilt. It’s real and every one has it to some extent.
No one can tell you the right answer because no one’s journey is the same.

 Should my babies crib have a bumper?
Attention: Dear pregnant lady reading all kinds of baby books while lying on your bed in the middle of the day. Do not be afraid. You will be able to keep this kid alive. Although you read too much about suffocating to ever really feel at ease when you take them home. It does pass. You do get better at reading what YOUR baby can handle and what they can’t. You know your child best.

So I’m pregnant and I’m reading and reading and reading. Because that is what I do. Then you ask a lot of questions to people. Kinda pole the audience if you will. Not to take their advice, but just to gather some different perspectives. Research, if you will.

Your friend says, “Both my kids had bumpers and they are FINE!”

Woman in her 50’s says, “I had 5 kids and they all had big fluffy bumpers and they were FINE.”

Women in mommy forum say, “You put a bumper in your kids crib?! OMG. What are you a murderer?”

 Friend of a friend at a party says, “I just had a hand woven breathable sheep anus skin shipped over from Argentina.” (Okay maybe that is an exaggerated example. Ha ha.) But you get what I’m saying!
They give you some website to order something off. You go home, open your MAC book, see that it costs….. $400. Shrug. Open Amazon and order a $39.99 breathable mesh bumper. Mom worry compromise. Your arms and legs won’t get caught hanging out the crib but you won’t roll onto your side and suffocate against your bumper. Not on my watch, goddammit.

Now, that worked for Ben (my first)! So all ended well. Now the following year when I was setting up Smudgy J for sleeping success he was not so cooperative. Ben laid flat on his back with ZERO things in his crib for the first year of his life. (I told you! I was worried! #newmomproblems)

Now from day one baby #2 aka Smudge, he looked at me with his scary infant needy eyes and said “Lady I need you to wrap me up like a god damn caterpillar in a cocoon.  I assume you learned about mummification in the 6th grade?  Wrap it up lady.” I became a professional swaddler. Baby burrito supreme. Once he was too big to be swaddled, I had no choice but to acknowledge he was perfectly strong enough and let him have his own sea of blankets. And let me tell you, he’s happy as a clam.

Which is kind of comical because that is how I prefer to sleep. My husband and I love each other very much. But we most definitely have two quilts and another down comforter on our bed. Ha ha. I showed him an article in a lady magazine one time that was like “What your sleeping position says about your relationship.” I was like, “Honey, I think this magazine says we hate each other and one of us is going to murder the other soon. So good luck! May to odds be ever in your favor.

Haha! But seriously. I love me some affection!  Once we are done being affectionate, let’s get down to business and let me wrap myself up in comfy blankets and please breathe in the opposite direction as me. Butt to butt. This is marriage ladies and gentlemen. You know what I’m talking about!

What’s nice about becoming more and more comfortable in my role as Mom is that now I look less outward and more inward. I realize that I do know my kid better than any one else. I’ll always educate myself and read books. But only I know what’s best for my kids. And if that means at 11 months old, Jack sleeps in a sea of blankets in his crib. That is okay. I mean, he was crawling at 5 months old. YIKES. When he was two weeks old he picked up his head and turned it all the way to the left and looked at my sister and then moved it all the way to the right. My sister and I were like, look at this alien baby go. He is so freakin’ strong. I know this. I watch him every day.

 Should I go out with my friends?
Mom’s night out. I love me some girl time. I’ll need it more than ever in the coming years. I went from growing up with two sisters to living in a house that I am the only girl. The president of this frat. It’s a good gig, don’t get me wrong. But women need women. If you say things like, “Ya, I really don’t get along with girls. I really only have guy friends.” Don’t say that like a badge of honor. That’s a terrible thing. I love my husband dearly, but there is a different way to laugh if you are with your girl friends. YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN.

Now that I’m a Mom I work hard to maintain my female friendships. I think that it is important. I think women who drift into the no mans land of martyr-ville USA, population Mom. That’s when women get unhappy. Of course your kids come first. Of course you are going to make time to hang out with your “best friend” (I mean husband. I made that mistake because every girl on Facebook has informed me that their spouse is their best friend.) That’s cute. But If he’s your best friend, who do you call when you want to rip his head off to say loud irrational things??? That part always gets me.

Yet, every time I get the opportunity to go out with my friends I have to give myself a small pep talk. Don’t worry I end up going. I have a glorious time. I know some very wonderful humans. But it’s the Mom guilt worry circle I have to play out in my head first to get me there that is just plain silly. But oh well. Mom’s be moms.

This is how it usually plays out. I’m probably blow drying my hair and listening to a PANDORA station that I probably wouldn’t play if people were at my house. Ha ha. Guilty pleasure Pandora is the best. Gosh why is “Nelly, Hot in hurr station” on my list? Hmm.. Josh probably added it. Ha ha JK. I’m not ashamed! “Checking your reflection and telling your best friend, Girl I think my butt getting big!”

In-between solid dance moves with the hair dryer.. 
The conversation in my head goes something like this.. 

You deserve this Britt.
You need to RELAX.
You haven’t done anything in like a MONTH.
No one can do it all, Britt. Mom’s need breaks too.
You’ll get burnt out.
Ugh. speaking of burnt out. I should be going to yoga with this time. Not having cocktails.
Oh well. Yoga is the best, but you need to socialize and stimulate your own brain.
Okay making time for your friends is important. Confirmed. Moving on. They have lives and need love as well.
Is it bad that I don’t feel bad when I leave them at my in-laws? Maybe it’s because they are so happy there and I know that? So obviously, I’m very fortunate in that sense. We walk in their door and Ben will be like, “Bye. Bye. Bye. Mom.” Like get out of here lady and let the grandparent loving begin.
You shouldn’t feel bad. You should feel happy that you have family support.
Okay agreed. Moving on from that mom guilt train of thought.
I should clean my house.
Ugh. I’m always cleaning my house.
I should get some sleep.
I should just go lay in my bed and catch up on sleep.
That is true. But margaritas with people who make you laugh are just as important in the equation. 
I think you are just the Mom for that job.

Be kind to yourself.
You are doing a great job.

Try and give yourself a break. You are a great Mom. The worry is silly I know! So why is there? Because you love your family, duh! Being a modern Mom is tough. The balance act never ends. So at least find peace with it. You are doing the very best you can.

Just remember:

Great career
Hot body
Well rested
Hot cooked dinner every night
Great sex life
Clean house
If you’re a Mom, pick two.

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