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Guilt

 |  Parenting, Personal

When I had Isabel, I found the first few months of her life completely overwhelming. I don’t know if it was the shock of dealing with a demanding newborn at all hours, the pain I was in from my many stitches, the 6 weeks of lochia or simply the realisation that I could no longer get away with only thinking about myself. Whatever it was, it meant the first weeks were a blur of feeling a tad frazzled.

Now I have Oliver. Better birth (1 stitch) and feeds less than his sister did, but otherwise fairly similar (demanding newborn, weeks of lochia, etc) with the addition of feeding issues and a possible tooth coming through already(!) and yet I don’t feel frazzled. I don’t feel overwhelmed and tired. I notice and appreciate each tiny development and don’t begrudge the frequent nursing, the wanting to be held, the farting, burping, snot and sick. I am happy!

So why is it I feel so guilty? Guilty that I didn’t appreciate tiny Izz more (that I can’t remember much of the first few months of her life!) Guilty that there are other mum’s having a shit time of it. Guilty when Oliver sleeps for 3 hours or more because it feels so… indulgent! Guilty that I have a lovely baby while friends are struggling to conceive.

I don’t normally ‘do’ parental guilt (except that time I accidentally elbowed 12 day old Isabel in the head – don’t ask) so why is it knocking be about now?

Jem Turner jem@jemjabella.co.uk +44(0)7521056376

5 comments so far

  1. Stephanie said:

    I’m not a mommy myself, but I’m pretty sure that the only reason you’re not having as hard a time right now is because you’ve already done everything once before! What’s there to feel bad about? I’m sure that an experienced midwife is more calm and collected than the midwife-in-training delivering her first child.

    Your life has blessed you with two wonderful children. Do not question whether you deserve them or not. Just be an awesome mommy and make the most of the experiences that they bring you. :D

  2. Katy said:

    hah, I seem to remember than when Izz was tiny you (and Karl) were just as appreciative (hmm, that’s not the right word) of her…!

    but also obviously a lot more “oh crap, new baby, not done any of this before eek” than you are now. Not a bad thing, so stop with all this guilt nonsense :)

  3. Amanda said:

    When Izz grows up, she’s not going to remember that you were tired and worn out in the her first few months. All she’s going to remember is the love that you’ve shown her every day since.

    As for other mums – all you can do is the best with what you’ve been blessed with, and to support others as best you can.

    You’re doing a great job. <3

  4. Mumblies said:

    Stephanie is quite right in her stating that with Oliver being a second baby and with you both being more experienced and therefore better equipped to cope. All first time parents go through the ‘Did I do this right, what is baby needing, why does he/she cry when I so such and such’ The fear of failure and the constant awareness of other people possibly belittling your efforts. Once you have been there once everything makes more sense second time around and you don’t need the constant reassurance that you are doing it ‘right’

    Amanda is also right, Izz won’t remember much of her early days, any more than you remember the painting dropping episode that nearly gave me and your Dad a heart attack! She will grow to love her baby brother more and more and will grow to be so protective of him, unless she is sat on him as all big sisters do, that of course is her right as being bigger than he is.

    Guilt because your experiences are going well, but others’ not, well I think that is normal, as is the awe in which us mums are when we sit there holding our little people for a feed or just a cuddle, you know only too well how life can be up one minute and down the next, it is precious and you should take each and ever day as it comes. Besides, you are doing it right, you of all people know I’d soon enough let you know if I thought otherwise :)

    Yep, you are doing a great job and will continue to do so. After all, look at what a fantastic role model you have to teach you :)

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