Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Guilt: One Hell of an Emotion

My whole life I have wanted to be a mom.  I always told everyone, from a very young age, that I was ready to be a mom.  I knew that I wanted to get married and have babies and stay home with them and be the ever so stereotypical "soccer mom" - without the soccer part, I know absolutely nothing about it.

I completed high school, graduated college, got married and got pregnant.  All my dreams came true.  I was going to be a mom!  10 months came and went and I was blessed with the most handsome little boy in this entire world - yes I am bias because he is mine, but he is pretty dang cute either way.

Caleb Tyler has been the best thing that has ever happened to me.  He has made my life complete, even when I didn't know anything was missing.  He has shown me the ability to love someone so much that it actually pains you on the inside thinking about them not ever being around.  He has taught me patience and to not worry about being in control as much.  Isn't it crazy to believe that one little boy, one little 7 week old baby boy can have such an impact on you?

Well the one thing he can't help me with is my guilt...

I feel guilty about not loving being a stay at home mom at first - The week Ryan went back to work was a disaster, to say the least.  It was probably normal from everyone else's view, but to me it was rough.  I didn't know how I was going to do it for the next six weeks.  Don't get me wrong, I love my baby and I love being with him, but not getting sleep and not knowing what he needed was rough on me.  I am someone who loves having a plan and control of things, a newborn - they make the rules.  I told my mom that I would go back to work when he was 8 weeks old.  She told me it was fine and that I could stay home with him when he was older.  It helped for a second, but the guilt continued.
I feel guilty about wanting to go back to work - Now this might be confusing, but I have no desire to go back to work to escape my baby, but because I can't handle the stress of money.  In California we are given 4 weeks before your baby is born and 6 or 8 weeks after your baby is born of paid disability.  They give you 2/3 of your pay or the max payout, whichever is less.  Once the 6 or 8 weeks after birth are completed you then switch to Paid Family Leave and the pay is the same and you can be on that for an additional 6 weeks.  blah blah blah.  Well the weekly pay I receive from the state is the max allowed, which is not 2/3 of my normal pay.  We have been pinching the pennies since I went out on Mat Leave, back on August 1st, and it has been getting to me.  I feel guilty because I am stressing about money rather than focusing all of my undying attention to Caleb.
I feel guilty that my house is not immaculate every day when the hubs gets home from work - I try every single day to get the dishes done, laundry done and the house vacuumed.  If I managed to get one of those things done I consider it a victory.  But the guilt sinks in still.  There are plenty of women out there who manage these things everyday with the same amount, if not more children.  I hear it from multiple people about "so and so manages it all"  I know that we shouldn't compare ourselves to other mothers, or women for that matter, but it is a lot easier said than done.
I feel guilty that dinner is not made every single night as according to plan - just like the house stuff, dinner is the same.  I plan on having dinner made every night, while we eat every night, I am not always the one to make it.  Ryan and I have always made dinner together, but with an infant who happens to be awake during that time, it has become difficult.  This is probably the thing I feel least guilty about out of all of these things above and below - silly right?
I feel guilty that I can't provide him with enough breast milk to fill him - If you read my post from last week you know all about my struggles with breastfeeding.  I am sad to say that things have not improved in the booby department and it still makes me feel shitty.  I know that my baby loves me still and every drop that he does get from me is better than nothing, but guilt doesn't care about any of that.  It has a magical way of ruining the beautiful bonding moment we have by having him scream bloody murder after he detaches because he is still hungry.
I feel guilty that I have to go back to work and leave him - As much as I wanted to go back to work in the beginning I can't imagine it now, and now we are only 6 weeks away from that happening.  He will be staying with my mom and mother-in-law while I am at work but I can't imagine not being with him all day.  The guilt of not feeding him every bottle and nursing him when he is upset is enough to put me into a panic alone.
I feel guilty that I haven't spent "enough" time with my husband - enough is a relative term, but it is one that I am holding myself to.  Ryan and I have always agreed that as much as we love our children, our marriage will come first.  Without a happy marriage they can not have as happy a life.  I must say that I am guilty of being overly frustrated with him when he gets home and says he is tired.  He is justified to be tired because he works hard to provide for us, but am I not tired when I am the one getting up with the baby every single time?  This is where more guilt comes in.  Stupid, ugly guilt.
I love my baby and husband more than anything else in this world.  I didn't know a greater love until Caleb was born.  The guilt I feel is real and rears it's ugly head every single day, but I am working on pushing it aside and telling myself that I am doing the very best that I can.  I don't want to feel guilty for worrying about money because it just means that I will be able to provide a more stable life for my family.  I don't want to feel guilty about my house not being clean or dinner being made because I married a wonderful man and we are a team and together it will get done.  I don't want to feel guilty about not spending enough time with Ryan.  We will have our time together and we will cherish it, just like we cherish our little boy every single day.

While staying at home is not in the cards for me long-term, I am okay with it.  I know that being a working mom will help me be more emotionally healthy and that is what is important for me and my family.

Have you felt guilty about some of these same things?  How did you handle them?

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