As we are approaching the Holiday season dedicated to giving thanks, I feel moved to extend my gratitude for all you have bestowed upon me throughout this journey.
You have given me many things to be thankful for. Starting with my two incredible little ones. Sometimes I still feel them inside my womb, gentle flutters that trigger me to put my hand to my belly. Then I laugh to myself as I come back to present and realize I must have eaten something that caused those flutters. I am so humbled that you, Motherhood, chose me as the vessel to bring my littles earthside.
I will never know another joy so completely indescribable as pregnancy. Sure I had my share of "morning" sickness, which often lasted all day. Not to mention the searing fire that sat in between my lungs refusing to die out no matter how much ice cold water or almond milk I poured on it. Thank you, Motherhood, for heartburn. You proved the old wives tale right, both of my babes came out with a full head of hair.
You gave me two very different birth experiences. My son decided to make his way out 6 days after his due date. 50+ hours later he arrived under bright hospital lights as I laid on my back, exhausted from the rush of natural birth. Following right behind, less than two years later, came my daughter. I was so fortunate to have had her naturally in the comfort of our home. She came earthside in a warm pool after only 4.5 hours of labor--2 of which I slept through! Thanks to you, Motherhood, I feel like a warrior goddess, capable of anything!
Motherhood, you have given me courage. In fact, so much courage that I would like to tell you Thanks…
But NO THANKS!
I know I know, I am supposed to be humbly writing beautiful and poetic words of love to you but the truth is... you gave me something I didn’t want and surely didn’t ask for. Something that consumes my every day life. I can’t escape it, can’t shake it. It is there when I wake up and crawls right back into bed with me every night. Haunting and taunting my dreams...
The nightmare known as Mommy Guilt.
Thanks but no thanks, Motherhood...you can have your Mommy Guilt back!
I will no longer feel guilty for using food as a bribe with my kids. I have no more guilt for feeding my toddler a banana every single morning just so I can wipe sleep from my eyes and use the bathroom alone in peace. I will proudly give my 9 month old whatever leftover scrap from breakfast is in reach just to get her off of my leg while I am cleaning the kitchen, or making lunch, or trying to walk from room to room.
Motherhood, I say no thank you to the mommy guilt of hating poopy diapers. There I said it and now you can have it! No more will I feel bad for being disgusted when it is my turn for diaper doody. I am not a bad mama just because I can’t stand the task, let alone the smell. Really, who can? If you know someone, send them my way!
You can’t make me feel guilty anymore for using technology as a babysitter. TV, iPad, Tablet and phones are owed much credit for teaching my littles how to do the Whip Nae Nae. If you think about it, we pay more a month for these than we do actual sitters. So I am taking full advantage! I have to distract them somehow if I want to get things done around the house.
Motherhood, I thank you for my children who take forever to get ready. But I am done feeling the pit of guilt for being late to EVERYTHING. It literally takes an hour just to change and get them dressed. Not to mention put the diaper bag together and make sure I have pants on before I leave the house.
Additionally, beloved Motherhood, I am done feeling ashamed. Ashamed of feeling exhausted from the non-stop nursing. You dried up my milk and gave me a break while I was pregnant with our second. But I think it was because you knew how I was going to become a punching bag and jungle gym for her. I do not feel guilty for being happy the night nursing ended. I need the rest to prepare for the battle wounds I will endure the next day. My chest looks like a cat attacked me. She pinches me on purpose and we all know baby nails are sharp regardless of how many times a week they get trimmed! No guilt, no more.
A few more things, Motherhood, I will no longer feel Mommy Guilt for: Asking my friends to babysit last minute, they love my kids and are honestly happy to help if they can. Asking my husband for time alone, I am not a horrible mama for needing and wanting a break! Lastly, I will no longer feel bad about needing a glass of wine, or 3, once the babies have gone to bed!
Motherhood, I have wrapped Mommy Guilt up, tied it in a bow and put it on your doorstep. I hope you are not offended that I am returning your gift. It is one that I have no room for. I promise this is the only thing I will be giving back. I hope you accept.
Because if you do, I will have space to love the soft curves you have given me. I can then embrace the endless appetite I have from nursing and chasing babes. I will delight in the delicate kisses I give and receive from those plump pink baby lips. Most importantly I will learn to laugh at myself again.
And for all of that, I thank you Motherhood.
Journalist: Shea Gardner