Mom Guilt and Pregnancy
Updated: Aug 5
Ordinarily I really really try not to give in to mom guilt. I leave Dom for a variety is reasons (work, date nights, me-time, girls trips, etc), and I don’t feel bad about it. He gets a few extra minutes of screen time while I finish a household chore and I don’t feel bad about it. I remind myself that he is loved beyond measure and that I can’t fill his cup of mine is empty. And sometimes to fill my cup means spending time away from him doing the other things that make me more than JUST a mom. I miss him like crazy when I’m away from him, but that’s not the same as mom guilt.
BUT mom guilt during this pregnancy is becoming a whole new animal. As I’ve mentioned (over and over and over again), my first trimester was horrible! I was nauseous from 6-15 weeks. I had a horrible metallic taste in my mouth which made the nausea worse. I was so effing tired. By the end of each day my nausea and tiredness would be at all time high to a point to where my body was pretty much like, “bitch, we cannot go on!!” I would fall asleep on the couch as soon as I was horizontal after work until it was time to put Dom down for bed. And if it were my turn to put him down, I’d rush through our routine and then put myself down. I. Was. Miserable. Eventually, I’ll get around to writing a post about depression during pregnancy but basically that’s where I was. If you’re doing some math right here you’ve added up the zero amount of time I was spending with Dom. Ben was and to some extent still is the primary parent. He got him to and from daycare, he feeds him, he played with him. I was just a lob on the couch. What this meant is that Ben quickly became the preferred parent. “Daddy,” became his most used word. Anything he needed it was daddy, daddy, daddy! He would even tell me no if I reached to help him.
Cue the mom guilt. I was basically giving up time with one kid in order to survive growing another. This broke me. I was always the preferred parent. And like my boy Honest Abe, I cannot tell a lie, I loved it. I grew him for goodness sake, I should be his favorite! Any time I was spending with him was accompanied by me needing to lay on the floor for bits of time. I felt as if he were getting 1/4 the mom he deserved and no amount of “he won’t even remember this time” made me feel any better. The guilt made me think I’d never get my baby back. The guilt didn’t allow room for me to give myself any kind of grace.
The guilt was for the time I wasn’t spending with him now and had very little guilt about how his life was about to forever change. It was for the milestone I felt I was missing while I was out of commission. I think it’s normal for a 2nd time mom to feel guilt or even fear that she couldn’t possibly love her 2nd kid more than her first, or that she is taking love away from the first, but that wasn’t quite it for me. As a 2nd child, I witnessed my mom love me just as fiercely as she loved my older brother, so I knew it could and would be done.
Coming out of that first tri has left me with some perspective. It’s why I chose content as my word of the year. Everything is a season which means all things bad (and unfortunately the good too) will come to an end, so in 2020 I’m focused on giving myself that much-needed grace I was missing. I will embrace the good things and roll with the punches of the bad knowing that I won’t be perfect every step of the way. I’ll make mistakes, I’ll feel too tired to play, I’ll inevitably fall short on something....but that’s okay! Giving yourself even just an inch of leeway, grace, forgiveness, marginal error, whatever you want to call it, is the first step to battling that mom guilt.
You're amazing, mama!