Saturday, May 18, 2013

Baby Don't Cry

Note: I think the term "working moms" are not very apt, since all moms work. Raising children IS work, a work of love with no leave days. But for the sake of to make it easy, I'll just use the term "working mom" in definition of moms who works outside the home.

Lately I've been reading a lot, and watching a lot of videos on YouTube, on the topics of babies, motherhood, and working moms. A lot of working mothers mentioned about the guilty feelings they have for leaving the children to work. Well, I'm a working mom, and I wrote a post about guilty feeling a while back (you can read it here), but it has nothing to do with being a working mom. Maybe because I have many friends whose mothers are or were working moms, and they turned out fine. They are good men and women, and they are very close to their moms. Also, the mothers are good wives, as well. So, I don't associate "working moms" with "neglected children" or "feminism" or any negative connotations.

But I still feel guilty.


For what?

Friends have said that I'm a good wife and mother. 

My husband has said over and over that I am an excellent wife and mother. (He's so sweet.)

Sometimes I believe them. 

Sometimes I don't.

I try to balance being a wife, being myself, and being a mother. I try to compartmentalize my time and schedule (and the baby's schedule) to cater to all of them. I streamline and simplify everything: the menu, the house cleaning schedule, my beauty routine, my wardrobe, etc. I learned to do everything in a shorter amount of time. It required a lot of discipline and will power, but so far so good. I'm very fortunate to have a supportive husband who continuously convince me that I'm doing good, that I'm doing great that I'm doing enough, and that he and his son appreciate my efforts. Baby Michael is healthy and happy. My husband is healthy and happy. I am healthy and happy. 

I still have time for myself (much less than I used to, but enough), do grocery shopping, have dinner and nice conversation with my husband almost every night, go out with my husband or my girlfriends once in a while, breastfeed the baby, organize my closet, putter around the house, have a hair cut, write posts for my blog, call my parents once a week, surf the internet, read and go to the office on weekdays. I asked my husband whether he thinks he still get enough attention from his wife after baby, and he said yes. The house is clean and relatively tidy, though it's no longer meticulous like it used to. My boss has said that I'm doing well at work even with all the new possibilities and lack of sleep. 

But often, when I'm looking at my baby's face, I feel guilty.

Like very early this morning, around 6 am, I took the sleeping Baby Michael in my arms and took him outside to the terrace so he will get some clean, fresh early morning air. I do this whenever I could wake up early enough, since later in the morning it would already be too warm. I cradled him and looked at him peaceful, sleeping face, and suddenly I thought: "I should have done this every single morning, and more than just 30 minutes at a time."

Yesterday evening I was playing with Baby Michael for about half an hour, then I left him in his crib to have dinner (my husband was working late, so I ate dinner alone). Baby Michael was content playing by himself, so after dinner I did some blogwalking. And suddenly I thought: "I should be playing with my baby. Why I'm here playing with my laptop while my baby is playing alone in his crib?"

Then many times, when I breastfeed Baby Michael, I thought: "I'm not a good mother type. I only spend time with my baby when I'm breastfeeding him. Other times I'm busy doing something else and left him alone in his bouncer."

THEN when I took a short break from breastfeeding to grab something to eat because I was hungry and I had been nursing him for over an hour and had not had anything to eat since lunch, I felt guilty again. I felt guilty because I was so hungry and I had to eat and Baby Michael had to stop nursing and finish his "meal time" with formula milk. Repeat that again. I felt guilty for getting hungry after not having a bite for over 9 straight hours!

I know. I know. It's not logical. I very well know that I cannot, should not, carry my baby around in my pocket to keep him sage. That would be selfish. That won't teach him independence and self reliance. I know all of that.

But I still feel guilty.

When I'm writing this post, Baby Michael is sleeping in the nursery, right across my bedroom. And I feel guilty for not having him right next to me. Duh.

Yes. I know it's ridiculous. But still...

Motherhood. How many surprises and lessons you have in store for me!

Please share with me, Friends. Is this normal? 
And if it does, as many people said it is, how long it usually lasts?

These pictures were taken when I was twenty weeks pregnant. The dress was altered they way I did my other dresses to fit my growing belly: I opened the seams at the waist area.

Linking up to:
The Alabaster JarGrace Laced MondaysMaking your home sing MondaysHappy Wives ClubTheBetterMom.comBlog Button Final"/>Join us! Click the SpotlightThrifters AnonymousBeauty in His Grip Buttonapinchofjoy.comTell Me a Storystillbeingmolly DCinStyleSumo's Sweet StuffPhotobucket Real Girl Style Link UpSTYLELIXIR Style SessionsChristian Marriage Advicepleated poppy Adorned From Above 
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Kayla Janachovsky said...

Beautiful dress! Don't forget to link up to My Style Monday.

Laurie Collett said...

What a lovely blog and a lovely lady and mother! Thanks so much for visiting and commenting on Saved by Grace! Your blog is a blessing and I am now following it, and I invite you to follow Saved by Grace as well:
Love in Him,
Laurie Collett

Lauren said...

Your earrings are beautiful!! I love how unique and pretty they are :) Ps found you through the style sessions linkup! xo

Dana DeVolk said...

That dress is super cute!
We would love it if you would link up at our linky party:
Two Girls and a Party
Live every Wednesday to Sunday. Hosted by:
Dana @ This Silly Girl's Life
Parrish @ Life with the Crust Cut Off
We hope to see you there!

Leslie McCain said...

Would love to invite you to my link up that goes live at 7am in the morning. We pin all those who join to our party board on pinterest.

jviola79 said...

Good Morning -
I was your neighbor at Thoughtful Thurs. I want to reassure you that your guilt feelings are most normal. I was a stay at home mom & still felt guilt many times over things with my children. I don't think there is anything in life that tugs at our hearts more than our children. May I encourage you to rest in our God, be the best that you can be & not compare yourself to other moms. Enjoy the wild ride called "motherhood". It is the best!

Elle-Living in Color said...

Hello! I just came across your blog, via the Style Elixir Link Up, and I love it! I’ve
decided to follow you! If you get a minute, I’d love to know what you think of
my latest outfit post featuring pink & navy! While you’re visiting, let me know if you'd like to follow along so we can keep in touch :)

xo, elle from Living in Color.

Erin Kelly Cannon said...

Fun dress! Like all of the color in the outfit. Stopping by from Plane Pretty!

The Fashion Canvas

Judith said...

Those are deep thoughts and questions. You are being a good mother. Yes, the internet can steal the time we should be spending with our children, then we wonder what happened when they become difficult teens. It is good for a child to be able to entertain themselves some. There is a balance between all these things. God bless you and thank you for linking up over at WholeHearted Home.

momstheword said...

You look lovely and I love your dress!

I really appreciate your transparency here. Sometimes I think that guilt goes with motherhood, lol!

I quit my job after my first was born. So I had lots of time at home with my baby.

But I do know that I had times where I felt guilty too. I felt guilty when I did laundry or cleaning and they wanted me to read yet another story.

I felt guilty when I left the house and they were crying at the window "Mommy, don't go!"

I didn't feel guilty all the time, just sometimes.

It sounds like you're doing a pretty good balancing act so maybe the guilt is just hormonal and will go away. Of course, there will always be some mom guilt over the years on occasion, lol!

Thanks so much for linking up to "Making Your Home Sing Monday!"

Hazel Moon said...

You always look so lovely in your photos. Oh yes, how about replacing the word guilt with the word LOVE when you look at your child. Tell him, "Mommy loves you sweet boy." As long as you still breast feed him, that is a bond between you and him. Keep at it as long as you can. Thank you for sharing at "Tell Me a Story."

Charlene@APinchofJoy said...

Very cute outfit! Yes, feeling guilty sometimes comes with being a conscientious, caring mom! There is a balance between taking time for yourself and caring for your little one. Sounds like you are doing both quite well :-) Thanks so much for sharing your thoughtful post on Busy Monday!

ThriftyGirl51 said...

Such a pretty outfit and those earrings are great! I was/am a stay at home mom mostly and I still feel guilty about time I may have wasted not focusing entirely on my kids, things I may have done wrong. But that isn't realistic, you must have some time for yourself and your own interests and food! But when you are with your baby, try to be in the moment and not think about other things it really does fly by! I envy all you younger moms who have the digital cameras now, I had to deal with film and cameras and processing that weren't as handy. The only way to share pics was to mail them.

Antionette Blake said...

Very vibrant - love it!

Tiffany Ima said...

Wow this dress is so pretty! Love the print.

Tiffany Ima
Style Honestly

The Thriftiness Miss said...

This is super cute! I love the colors and the jewelry!

Thanks from stopping by and folowing The Thriftiness Miss.. Following back noe :) Have a wonderful weekend!

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