Sunday, March 11, 2012
Trying Every Day to be The Mother I Want to be
So, I think I've said this already, but this motherhood gig is pretty hard. That's not to diminish my husband's role (it is primarily of the "go fetch this I'm doing _______ with the baby" variety).
I think the major difference is the guilt. I'm not going out on a limb here when I say that fathers don't feel the kind of deep, panging guilt that mothers feel. Every day I get up and have to recommit myself to giving Cooper the best life I can. Usually it's after a crappy night's sleep, especially now that he's teething like crazy.
But there are a couple of ways that I've let him down, and myself down, too.
I mentioned previously that breastfeeding has been a major disappointment for me. I had a great commitment to exclusively breastfeeding Cooper for the first six months, but I let a moment of weakness sideline my plans. And after that, it was all downhill.
I can't go into detail, but let me just say that there was a member of my extended family who voiced their concern at a time I was sleep deprived and emotional. I really can't think about that time without getting my dander up, but in effect, she said that I was being a poor parent for not giving my son formula.
That's when I started to second-guess my instincts. Shortly after that, I had to have emergency gall-bladder surgery. From there, my milk supply was never the same.
Cooper is now mostly formula fed. He's getting close to 8 months old, and it makes me so sad that the start I had planned for him is nothing like what he's experienced.
If you are a mother, I'm sure you know what this guilt feels like. It weighs on your shoulders at night, and is still the same heavy burden in the morning.
Of course, he really doesn't care. He still smiles at me when I look into his eyes. He still babbles on and on just to hear the new noises his little voice makes. He still rolls over with glee as I try my hardest to get a diaper on him.
He's still my sweet baby. And I love him more than anything in the world.