Sometimes I look up, a few seconds too late, when I know the baby has been looking at me to get my attention. Have I let her down? Does she feel neglected? These thoughts seem ridiculous when I put a pen to paper but I know I’m not the only one experiencing “mom guilt”. I love Arizona with every fibre of my being. She is fed, cuddled, clean, and yet I still doubt my abilities and feel this cloud of guilt lingering. Why do mothers (and daddies!) feel this way?
This morning the baby was crawling around in her diaper (we had the humidifier on so it was quite warm and I took her pajamas off). I couldn’t help but wonder how she felt being naked. Was she cold? She felt okay to the touch. Does it hurt her bare knees crawling around like that? Does she have the chills? I recently read about a baby who had a fever seizure… is she clammy?
My baby girl is going to be ONE in a few short weeks and I feel like I could’ve done/been so much more for her in her first year. Did we spend enough quality time together? Did I play and engage with her enough? I didn’t socialize her with other babies much; does this mean she’s going to have trouble making friends?
I always find that writing my fears and thoughts seem to bring clarity to a situation. Yes, I worry. I feel guilty for no real reason. And I need to work on that! It’s unhealthy to have those nagging thoughts all day long. I decided to look into this mom guilt phenomenon to see if there are any solutions. One suggestion that resonated with me the most? Affirmations!
Write affirmations on post-its and stick them on your bathroom mirror. Repeat the affirmations with your partner. Say them to yourself when you are driving, doing the dishes, or about to fall asleep. “I am a good mother” or “I am doing the best I can” are good ones! There’s a whole bunch of affirmations for mamas on Pinterest. Try it out. Affirmations will work if you are consistent, and make sure to inject them with emotion. Really take time to believe that what you are saying is the truth. I need to practice what I preach because at the end of the day, my daughter is cared for, adored, nurtured. And that’s all one could ever wish for.