Today my son is 12 days old. And today was a rough day. I had one fussy little guy on my hands. From 8 this morning until my husband came home around 3, I was at home alone (with my 3 year old and) with a newborn baby and I couldn't figure out why he wouldn't stop crying and being fussy. I needed a break. I was tired. No, I am tired.
I feel stressed when he cries and I stress that something is the matter with him. He has been spitting up quite a bit and a couple times today has even spewed. Why? I don't know. Is it the formula we are giving him? Do we need to switch? Is it he is just trying to get used to eating since he's so new? Does he have gas? Is he pooping ok? Is something more serious wrong? Is this why he is fussy?
My husband came home and I wanted to hand my son off and run for the door and hop into the car and cruise with the windows down and enjoy some sunshine, silence, and alone time. My husband would have fully supported me and tossed me the keys! He's pretty great like that. So why didn't I do that? Why did I not take 20 minutes to myself to collect myself and be refreshed? .... MOMMY GUILT
I couldn't leave the house. I couldn't hand the kids off after my husband had been at work all day. My kids needed me. I would be a bad mom if I couldn't handle one tiny itty bitty fussy baby for a day. So I stayed. I stayed at home and poured a glass of iced coffee and put what little energy I had left into my children. And I am worn out.
My husband got little man to finally go to sleep after a couple more hours of being fussy and he is snoozing now. I went in and looked at him and just started crying. I felt like I had failed him. That I had grew tired of him and I was sad because I felt like that he would think I didn't love him anymore. I scooped him up and gave him some kisses as tears fell down my cheeks and told him how much I loved him. Then luckily he stayed asleep while I put him back into his snuggly little bed and he is now having a good nap.
But why do we let MOMMY GUILT take over like that? Why is it not ok to take 20 minutes to ourselves?
It is ok. It is actually a really good thing.
If I would have taken the 20 minutes to myself today to drive around or go wash the car or pick up a book, I would've been refreshed and recharged. Able to be more present for my husband and for my children.
Maybe that feeling we get in our stomach when we think about leaving our child for a few minutes or wanting a break isn't guilt, maybe it's LOVE. Maybe we love our children so much that it makes us sad to think we need a break from them for a minute, or an hour, or a day to just be ME. We've listened to the negative voices in our head (or possibly from other people around us) long enough. It's time to tell the negativity to leave us alone and SHHHHHHHH!!!!!!
I do not have to feel guilty for leaving my newborn son with his loving father and for being excited that my girls' grandpa took them to Wal-Mart with him so that means I get a little bit of alone time.
Next time I start to feel mommy guilt, I'm going to do my best to tell it to GO AWAY and that I love my children soooooo much that I am going to take a small break for myself so that I can continue being the rock star mom that I am.
... And I want to encourage you to do the same! Because MOMS, YOU ROCK!