Despite our efforts and those flying the flag; exposing their vulnerability and talking the real truths of parenting and motherhood, Mummy guilt is still very much a thing. It might be that instinctively we will always set standards for ourselves that are a little too high, that our expectations might sometimes be skewed or that we, as mothers, always feel like we should be doing it a little better; a little more like her. The unfortunate reality is that, as a society, we still judge when we don’t know, we still advise when we aren’t asked and we still preach about a situation we aren’t in.
It makes me sad to see new mums riddled with guilt and insecurity, wild eyes searching for answers, wondering if they should lie about the formulae in their bag, or about how they slept inside a cot last night because it was the only way. The honest truth is, motherhood is wonderful sure, but sometimes it is also simply an act of survival, and as long as you do your best, as long as you and your baby survive, that is all that matters.
You are not guilty, you never were
I’m going to have a natural birth, pain relief will be a no,
My birth plan has been prepared, deviation would be a blow.
Calm and relaxed is the key, it’s in all the books I’ve read,
My bag is packed, journey planned, all mapped out in my head.
The time has come but it’s too much, there’s no pain I can compare,
I need to have the pain relief, anything, I really do not care,
I know I shouldn’t need it, I know what they will say,
But I am really really struggling, and just want to last the day.
I’m definitely going to breastfeed, exclusively of course,
6 months as a minimum, what the best mums would endorse.
I will not be using bottles, formulae will not play any part,
Breast is best, that’s what they say, especially at the start.
My god it hurts, it burns so much, I just can’t get it right,
He’s losing weight, I’m tired, and we’ve been trying this all night.
I know there’s a bottle there, we got it just in case,
Maybe it’s OK just once, to help us set the pace.
He will be sleeping in the basket, the cot and then the bed,
I have conducted all my research, it was in those books I read.
6 months, then 12 then 2, with routines always in sight.
It will all be so much easier when he’s sleeping through the night.
I think it’s been three days now, and I don’t think I have slept,
Maybe three broken hours, but mostly I’ve just wept.
Tonight he’s sleeping next to me, and he’s gone out like a light,
The “rod” I’ve now made myself weighs less than another wakeful night.
Weaning times approaching and I’ll be making it from scratch,
I’ve seen the posts on Insta, you just make it batch by batch.
By making it at home, I can definitely be sure,
It’s free from any nasties, organic, fresh and pure!
He doesn’t seem to like it, spat it out and won’t stop crying,
I forgot to blend a batch, and he hates the ones I’m trying.
I caved and bought a fruity pouch, it’s definitely organic,
He’s eating the whole bloody thing, all smiles and no panic.
I won’t be going back to work, at least not for two years,
My baby needs me near him, to give him love and dry his tears.
This is best for his development, to have his mother near,
Building a secure attachment, helping to alleviate any fear.
He’s turning 1 next month and we’re having such a blast,
We have made so many memories and the time has moved so fast.
I’ve decided to go back to work though, I need some time to just be me:
Grown-up conversation and new challenges, while he’s playing in nursery.
I’d conducted so much research, looked on Insta, read a book,
I knew exactly what I needed, and of course, how it should look.
I knew it might be tricky, but, as long as I prepared,
Routine in place, mind all set; no reason to be scared.
It seems despite my research, I was naive and slightly blinded,
The Insta posts and old fashioned books were perhaps a tad one-sided.
My baby and I are happy, so here are the beans that should be spilt,
Just do your best, what’s works for you, and stick two fingers up to Mummy Guilt!