Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mama Guilt

There are things that happen that are beyond our control. Things that make me ball up my fists, take deep breaths, rage into my pillow. I hate how black and white people are--how they refuse to accept that our experiences are different from each other's. That I can decide to do THIS and it doesn't mean that I think you are wrong for doing THAT.

The Mommy Wars--which I think are largely a media creation--are just that. I have friends who stay home, friends who work full time outside the home and friends that are somewhere in between. All of these situations are hard. I can say with certainty that I would be a shitty stay at home mom. That shit is HARD YO. And it would not work for my family. But if it works for yours--and it does a lot--then I am glad that you are doing it.

Breast feeding vs. bottle. DEAR GOD WHY do we get in each other's faces for this? Aren't we lucky that most of us have a choice of what to do? Some people do not--breastfeeding doesn't work, they can't pump at work, their baby refuses a bottle--and you know what? I think it is time to say that they are not the only ones who get a choice. We all get to choose what is right for our own damn families. And if you want to breast feed until your kid is five, well I am still going to think you are a nutso, but I won't say it to your face. That is your child, you decide.

And this. That shit is why I don't do labor massage anymore. Something I REALLY loved. Because really? Now we are judging women for their birth experience? You are a lesser mother if you weren't a goddess? Fuck that. Seriously. Let us put women in the situation where they can feel guilty for ONE MORE THING that they cannot control. Because you can control where you intend to birth, HOW you intend to birth, but it doesn't always work out the way you wanted.

I planned to give birth vaginally. It didn't happen. I labored for 29 hours, twisted around in a dozen different positions, worked really damn hard and . . .got an infection, failed to progress and had an emergency c-section because the baby and I were fading fast.

I am thankful for that c-section. I have a live baby and I am alive. Which if I am honest, where my most important birth goals. I loathe how people patronize me for it but I know they are wrong.

I feel guilty for a million things as a mother. The way I swear when she wakes up early. How impatient I get when she won't nap. How I really HATE giving her a bath. The relief I feel almost every night when she goes to bed.

I don't feel guilty for my c-section. Or weaning her to a bottle at six months. Or working full time. Or not working full time now. I don't feel guilty that I let her have plastic toys or watch some TV. I don't feel guilty that she drinks juice.

I own my guilt. And there is a lot of it. And I don't need anyone creating more for me.

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