Monday, May 16, 2011

About guilt and the extreme.

When I found out I was pregnant, I started looking for blogs on motherhood and pregnancy so I could feel some kind of company through the process.  I have found many beautiful and well written blogs that have helped me through the whole thing.  I specially like the ones that document what they are going through... the more personal ones.  I like to know things as they are, I want to know the different possibilities, this is how I am, the more I know, the safer I feel.
Yesterday I found a post on one of my favourite blogs, "Aux petits oiseaux", on cloth diapering.  Claudia, the author of this blog, asks for advice on what to choose, cloth or disposable.  As usual many suggestions based on experience were made, including me.  But there was one specific comment that caught my attention because that is exactly how I've been feeling:

Julia says: "Hmmm... I'd say, do the cloth only, if you really want to do it and not out of some kind of guilt or responsibility for the baby, the environment,...

I know it's pretty much en vogue these days, at least here in Germany, to be this easy going, eco-friendly, all-natural mum - which automatically involves a lot of guilt. Feeling guilty because you feed your baby store bought food instead of home made, because you use disposable diapers, because you do put it in a pram instead of carrying it all the time, because you don't solely breastfeed for a whole year... I sometimes feel guilty but here Elisabeth Badinter steps in (sorry for insisting ;)): She says if women did all these things that are definitely good for the babies, there would be no self left and no time for this self. I was really shocked the other day as I read a thread on the internet of a woman who was a bit desperate because she had the feeling there was so much expected from her as a mother of a little baby that she couldn't fulfill without loosing herself. The answer of another mother: Well, you should've known before, if you can't sacrifice everything for the baby then you shouldn't have become a mother. I know there's a lot of dumb people out there, but still.

I'm sorry for this ultra long and maybe a bit dramatic post, I'm just super annoyed by the fact that so many guilty mothers are being created at the moment.

This is how it has become! It is extreme.  It's all expectations and it is exhausting to be a mother when all this pressure is upon you.  I have decided to just follow my instinct, but I find myself over explaining my decisions as if they were not the right ones, even though I know they are (on my choice of using epidural, on co-sleeping, on complementing breastfeeding with formula, on mixing disposable and cloth diapers and so on..)

I think that we each do the best we can.  We each love our children more than life itself and we want what's best for them, and sometimes what's best for them is to have happy parents that can give the most of themselves.  I don't believe in loosing yourself for your child, I believe in becoming the best person you can be for them without loosing your identity.



  1. I salute you! Do what you feel is the most suitable. And ask for help when it´s too overwhelming. (Or even before) You don´t need to run a 6 star hotel for the baby, she doesn´t know the difference between a 3 star and a 6 star anyways ;)

  2. totally true! and great u found it out in a month... it took me several months! I know the feeling and the pressure of knowing probably your mother did a better job with less resources. Everybody expects a lot from you, and family has an opinion on EVERYTHING... It makes you sad, and the baby blues even worse. The feeling of guilt is heavy and you find yourself feeling sad and happy at the same time. It's exhausting too. Even the relationship with your partner seems to fall apart. Some days you just loose it and forget why you are here in the first place. I found 2 books on Happy Motherhood. (One I will give you as present btw) , especially because I thought motherhood was (and IS) a happy stage, I was doing the best that I could, and still feeling unhappy. We need help! But we need to know that we are good mothers, and we need to trust our instincts more. We are a new generation of women, raising up a new generation of children. They need us to be happy, healthy and leave guilt behind! Lov u! You're doing a great job!

  3. ...and it only gets worse as the kids become older. Guilt is to be avoided. We have weeks of prefabricated food... Go Dani. Mia.