Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Mommy Guilt

We've all been there right? Always thinking, wishing, wanting... to do more, be more, be better. I can distinctly remember feeling this way for the first time when Liam was just a wee month old baby. He was about as easy as they come, so we simply spent our days curled up on the couch. He would nurse as often & as long as he liked, sleeping on & off while I watched the summer olympics & caught up on a ridiculous amount of tv. Then one day I thought to myself... am I just a lazy stay-at-home mom who lays around all day? I should be doing something! I should be stimulating this tiny little person; I should I be teaching him things! And the mommy guilt settled in... 

Oh how I wish I could look back on my former self and tell her, "Stay on the couch! Relax all you want! These days are numbered and soon enough you will have to plan activities and will be chasing around a curious little boy. Never again will you have the pleasure of just snuggling your only baby and just being!" 

Now that I'm almost two years into motherhood, I've had my fair share of mommy guilt creep in; although, it peaked when I became sick from Mono. I was so sick. Stay in bed all day sick. Can barely even think straight sick. I was completely unable to take care of Liam in any way. It was devastating! I literally felt guilty for being sick. Guilty for not being able to do a thing. Guilty for bringing this illness upon our family (as if it was even in my control). Guilty, guilty, guilty! 

Conor became the most amazing work-from-home Dad and took over all duties of the house & Liam! Liam adjusted to me being sick & in bed quite well and just loved having Daddy home! When Conor would have conference calls, Liam would bring a few toys or books into my bed and play quietly with me. It was such a blessing that he was content just being with Mommy, yet not needing much from me at the same time. 

Although Liam & Conor seemed to be handling things just fine, I was a hot mess! I shed many tears over not being able to run around with Liam, or make him meals, or take him on fun adventures. I missed just being us... Mama & Liam. It broke my heart that I couldn't be the same Mommy to him. Although Conor is a rockstar dad, Liam still heavily depends on me for naptime, bedtime, & all of his night wakings. While part of me loved staying true to our routine and that part of our relationship, nursing a wiggly toddler through some of the worst body aches ever was just awful. I began dreading those times that I still had to be Mom, while always desperately still wanting to fulfill that role. 

After a couple days, Liam seemed to completely understand what was going on. He would say things like "mommy sick", "mommy stay in bed", "mommy stay home". Every time I heard this it would just slay my little heart. It was incredibly sad to hear him say these things. I felt like a terrible mom. Absolutely terrible. I worried this would become our new normal, and I was not okay with that. The guilt that set in consumed me at times. The whole first week was an emotional roller coaster. 

Conor & my mom continually assured me that I was not a terrible mother, and that I was still giving Liam everything he needed. Liam is a thriving happy boy, and he was fine without his mom being her normal self for a bit. He even gained some new found independence. I loved watching him play and seeing his creative mind at work. He gave me extra snuggles & genuinely seemed to show empathy. These little things made my heart happy and helped me surpass all the guilty feelings. 

I know that this mommy guilt will continue to show up throughout Liam's life, but I will not let it get me down or affect how I parent. I am doing an amazing job with Liam! I need to keep that confidence! He is mine & I am his; our bond is strong & will withstand anything. While we will still have our challenging days, I know that each great moment outweighs any of the bad. My boy is happy, and he has such an infectious smile to prove it. This face...I can't get enough of this sweet face!



For all my fellow mothers: be good to yourselves. 
 Be your best and don't let any guilt creep in; 
 it will only hinder you as a parent, when instead you should be flourishing!

11 comments :

  1. Mommy guilt is so tough! That must have been so hard on you to have those feelings on top of being sick. Noah relies heavily on me for nap time, bed time, and multiple wake ups as well. It can be exhausting and overwhelming at times when I'm healthy so I can't imagine still doing it when sick! Good for you! And yes you are doing a great job!

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  2. Beautiful little boy :-)

    http://www.closetdream.blogspot.com/

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  3. I know mommy guilt all too well. I feel it every day when I leave for work and spend my day with someone else's kids instead of my own. You are doing amazing and Liam seems like a very sweet, smart, and well-adjusted toddler!

    I hope you are feeling better and enjoying the summer:)

    www.windycitybaby.net

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    1. We all feel it! Thanks for your sweet words! :-)

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  4. I can't imagine how hard it must have been to be sick in bed for all that time and not be able to function like normal. The mommy guilt is the worst guilt I've ever felt, but like you said, just look at our kids and their smiling faces and you know you're doing a great job! Last year Keith and I each had the stomach flu, one after the other, and it was so hard having to be away from Owen while I was sick, but it was even harder (selfishly) to hear him happily running around the house without me. I felt sad that they figured it all out without my help :( I know that sounds strange.

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  5. I can't get enough of his sweet face either! haha I kept finding myself looking over to the scrolling pics of you two and then would have to go back and re-read post. I think you are doing just fine and this was a great post! So glad you are better too! xoxo

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  6. I think you are a TERRIFIC mom, and part of the mommy guilt proves that. All good moms evaluate themselves! :) Liam is lucky lucky lucky- no doubt about that. I really wanted my little girl to be a daddy's girl (like I was) but SHE IS A MOMMA'S girl. I am all she wants when she wants to cuddle. I am the only one who can soothe her most times. It's an incredible bond we have. And, you, like me, seem to just EAT UP the little things. That's what being a good mom is all about.

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  7. Oh, I can't imagine how hard it must've been on you to be so sick and just not able to do things you normally do. Guilt is a terrible thing and can really eat you alive. You're most definitely not alone in feeling it, but that doesn't make it any easier to work through. Your advice is the best - be good to yourselves. I need that reminder all too often. We are doing a GREAT job and the fact that you care makes you an amazing momma!! Your beautiful little boy is absolutely proof of that. :)

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  8. Poor thing! In order to be the best mom ever you needed to take care of you. Happy you are on the mend and glad you have a supportive husband who was able to pick up where you left off <3

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  9. Mommy guilt is SO HARD. I have it all the time, whenever I go do things without Mason. I even have it on the Fridays that Seth has off and I go to work. WORK. It's my job and I feel guilty because I feel like I am abandoning Seth to be a single parent. I am crazy. It's gotten better but I'm so hard on myself. I can't even imagine being so sick, I couldn't do anything for Mason. Like you said, there's some things that a mom just does. Poor thing, it was totally out of your control, I feel so bad. Thank goodness you are better now!

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  10. You're an awesome mom and you should never feel guilty, especially about getting sick!That is completely out of your control! And look, you still nursed and did as much as you could do being as sick as you were! How sweet of him to hang with you and keep yoi company while you were out of commission. Glad you are feeling better! I love the bond that you have with Liam and I love how open and honest you are about it! So amazing!

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