Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Letting go of the mummy guilt.

Ever since I became a mum 3yrs ago, mummy guilt has been a constant part of my life in one form or another. If you have a child you'll probably know what I mean. The constant second guessing if you're doing everything right. The constant trade offs, if we do this then we can't do that. The constant desire for alone time, but then desperation to be with your child once you finally get it. Parenting is a constant battle with internal guilt in some shape or form, for me anyway. Since I've been pregnant the mummy guilt has sky rocketed to another level.


Pregnancy has affected my ability to spend quality time with her in so many ways. For the first few months I suffered badly from morning sickness, like I need to spend all day on the couch or in the toilet or I may die kind of nausea. It was a huge adjustment for her because she's used to me being so interactive and spending the day playing with her or tending to her every need. Constant nausea has a way of controlling how much you can function whilst upright though, so we both had no choice but to adapt, and unfortunately that meant she needed to get used to fending for herself a little more.

As the weeks progressed my pelvis decided to separate again. It happened last pregnancy so it wasn't entirely unexpected, but it's happened a lot worse and a lot sooner this time around. Some days this simply means I wear a belt and am uncomfortable, other days it renders me unable to walk more than a few metres and in excruciating pain. It ebbs and flows each day and is rather unpredictable.

I'm not going to lie, I've been feeling so incredibly guilty about my pregnancy and the impact it's had on her. For the first few months I felt like I was neglecting her and saw everything in a negative light, but then I started noticing small moments and changes in her that made me realise this experience hasn't been as detrimental as I first thought. There have been many positive things to come out of the whole experience for both her and I and these are helping me to slowly but surely let go of my mummy guilt.

She's learning to be more independent - I've always been one to do most things for her thinking it was my job as her mum. Since I've been physically unable to satisfy her needs at the drop of a hat I've been teaching her to be more independent and do things for herself. She now knows how to go to the cupboard and fridge and get snacks/drinks for herself when she needs them {she still asks first thankfully or she'd be eating nothing but chocolate all day}. She also gets out toys for herself to play with and has become quite good at fetching things for me too.

She's learning to spend more time independently playing - She's always wanted me to be involved with activities or play along side her and hasn't really liked playing by herself, but the last few months she's learnt to go off and play blocks or "read" books on her own. She also sets up play activities with her dolls and other toys and her imaginary play is evolving in leaps and bounds because of this. I'm finally learning that kids being bored is not a bad thing, because they learn to adjust and make their own fun.

She's spending more time with her daddy - He works shift work so there's not usually much of a chance for us to spend quality time together, but we've been specifically trying to carve it out lately. Or at least they have been {I've been mainly trying to rest on the couch when he's home}. Now that I can't go food shopping {physio orders} and I have to attend hydrotherapy each week, it's given them two specific periods of time where it's just them and it's fast becoming their own little ritual. I'm loving that this has started now before the baby comes along because she'll be relying on daddy for entertainment a lot more often once I'm attached to a hungry/tired/clingy newborn all day.

I'm learning to go with the flow - I'm normally a control freak, I have everything planned out and prepared and I like everything to happen in the order it's meant to. Being physically unable to do things {like walk, drive, lift things etc} has forced me to slow down and realise I can't do everything, even when I have the best intentions of doing it. I'm struggling a bit because I don't want to let anyone down, but I'm also learning to listen to my body and go with the flow more.

So while being pregnant has been physically and emotionally hard, it's also been quite enlightening. I think we're both learning to make allowances for each other more and we're all helping each other out a lot more. I'm learning to let go and trust in her abilities, and she's learning how to adapt to change, and daddy's been stepping up to the plate too. My mummy guilt is still there, but it's not as loud as it was before.

Toni x

Linking with Kylie

9 comments:

  1. Gosh, you are doing it tough physically. Soon baby will be here, right? As for 'guilt'...I think you have finally realised that you do not have to be mummy who is 24/7 interacting and hands-on and she is benefiting from this. Kids are meant to find some independence and to be self-managing. Maybe then this has been a gift for you both. Take care. Denyse xx

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    1. Yes just over 6 weeks to go, if I make it full term that is! Starting to have a mild panic attack about not being ready. It's definitely taught me to step back a bit and let her figure out a lot of things for herself. She didn't like it at first, but she's getting so much better at doing things for herself and I think she enjoys the independence now.

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  2. Sounds like a tough pregnancy! But I'm sure the independence skills will help when the baby arrives too.

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    1. Yes definitely, she'll no doubt need to entertain herself a lot while I'm feeding etc.

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  3. That's good to hear, Toni. It can be a big learning curve, that's for sure. The pelvis separation sounds so painful. I hope the rest of the pregnancy goes as fast as possible so you can mend yourself again x

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    1. It's so painful and super frustrating not being able to physically do everything I want to do. It seems to be going really fast now though so I'm sure I'll have a baby before I know it.

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  4. Mummy guilt! Urgh I'm a fellow sufferer! We have to give ourselves a break and know our kids will be fine with whatever decisions we make!

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  5. Oh the mum guilt is the worse! I've only got one (7 month old) so I can only imagine what it'll be like in preparation for a second. This will be helpful for us when that time (eventually) comes. Sorry to hear you're in so much pain and having lots of physical issues - I hope they can resolve as best as possible soon, and you can have a safe and healthy birth for both you and bub!

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  6. Ergh, the pelvic thing is horrendous. I have it permanently after six children and it will never go.i still wear my brace for flare-ups.
    It's great that your girl is learning some independence. She will need to rely on herself once she has a sibling to keep her parents busy! Hope everything is going well. Xx

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