When you're pregnant you find yourself reading lots of things about babies development and what's good and bad for them and different child raising methods. Or at least I did. I research everything though.
You read about breastfeeding, diapering methods, baby food making, cry-it-out, vaxing, natural childbirth. You hear terms you've never heard of: babywearing, attachment parents, silky vs crunchy. You find out that plastic is toxic and dangerous. Then you read about how bad television is for your child. Okay, maybe you didn't even need to read that one.
Then you have a baby and the guilt starts. Or maybe that's just for us perfectionists?
Heck, mine started before she was even born when the nurse said I had to have a c-section and it's only gotten stronger in the 14 weeks since she was born. Actually, I think it started when the doctor listed all the extra complications because of my extra weight. Oh, and my thyroid issues. Not that I'm sure how I caused the thyroid issues exactly. But they added to my guilt.
At 14 weeks what do I feel guilty for?
My child is happy and content on her play mat. Is she playing with her toys? Of course not. She’s watching tv. We all know how evil that is. She even watches from daddy’s lap sometimes.
She gets organic, non-toxic toys in her stocking and under the tree. Especially for teething. We know everything goes in a baby’s mouth. Oh, but everyone else got her plastic. Which are her favorites? Which toys does mommy let her play with since they keep her happy? You got it, those evil toxic plastic ones. After all, kids have done it for years… right?
Mommy works from home to prepare for class and on her dissertation while taking care of the baby. Is she getting enough interaction? Is she spending too much time sitting in mommy's lap with a toy in front of the computer? You're certain the computer is just as evil as the tv all of a sudden. And it probably is.
You read babies need to be close to their mommy, you bought a wrap and a carrier so this could happen. Then the baby comes and you find it's hard to work on the computer while she's on you so you find ways to put her down and keep her happy. Oh the guilt... is she not going to be independent like she should be because she didn't learn to rely on her mommy? Or something like that. You're too tired to remember exactly why you're supposed to wear her.
Oh, and the killer, in the first few months babies are learning trust so you have to respond every time they cry. It's a need. Then you're trying to eat lunch (or is it still breakfast since that meal didn't happen) at 3;30 in the afternoon and the baby just woke up after being asleep for five minutes. Or you just got out of the shower and need to comb your hair and she decides she's tired of the bouncer seat. That's when you do that horrible thing... you let her cry or fuss for a couple of minutes... or at least until it's a hard cry. Then you try to do something else with her for a minute while you finish. Oh the guilt.
Oh the time you spend wondering if you're somehow screwing up your child. Or those two seconds of guilt you feel while you're falling asleep, because you don't spend any time wondering if you're screwing up your child since you're too busy and tired.