Feeling Guilty

Brenda - posted on 02/11/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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So I'm feeling a tad bit guilty. As I hit the nine month nursing mark yesterday, I look at my older son who got only four weeks and feel horribly guilty that I didn't try harder. I know that I did what I could in that situation, and boy if I knew then what I know now, I would have never stopped nursing. And since Nick is crib free, I'm feeling a bit guilty that poor Nathan had to sleep in the crib until he was two because I didn't think there was another way. And I wonder if he would have less anxiety and fear if I had coslept with him from the beginning. My husbands been on me that he needs to sleep in his bed again, and it is just not going to happen anytime soon because he is so scared to be in there alone. The other night he refused to even sleep until I laid beside him and he could "feel me". I told my husband and he said "That's just dumb". *sigh* So yeah. Kinda bothers me these days... I mean, there isn't anything to be done now, but I feel like I did it "wrong" with him, and I'm doing it "right" with Nick, as if there is something that I'll never be able to fix.

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Anne - posted on 03/29/2010

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You are being hard on yourself. I think we all have regrets about things as more information comes in - I certainly do. But the fact that you are beating yourself up shows you are a very caring mom and Nathan will be getting a very happy upbringing. So cut yourself some slack :-)

Kim - posted on 02/23/2010

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Unfortunately 1st born's are always the guinea pigs. It would be nice if we were born into societies were AP was the norm and every one was taught by the example of their own parents. I have 3 kids and feel I did the very best that I could with each of them given the information I had at the time. My youngest definitely has a more refined mother than my first 2 but the older ones know they are loved and are secure regardless of my parenting fumbles!

April - posted on 02/21/2010

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oh i know exactly how you feel!! i already have this huge list of all the things I am going to do differently with baby 2. and that make me feel extra guilty because i didn't do all this hard work researching with my son.

also....baby 2 isn't even conceived yet...who knows if there will even be a #2 because nothing in life is guaranteed

Rebecca - posted on 02/16/2010

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I agree with Lisa, I make a point to refer to my expressed milk in the fridge as "milk" and to cow's milk as "cow's milk". I refer to cow's milk as "cow's milk" at every chance, including in public. However, on these boards I feel like I have to say "breastmilk" because otherwise they may think I'm recommending cow's milk and obviously, I'm not.

Rebecca - posted on 02/16/2010

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When you know better, you do better. Try not to beat yourself up. I really like this article -- it's mostly about using the appropriate language when discussing and promoting breastfeeding (e.g., not saying "breast is best" but saying "breast is normal") -- but it has a section on how/why women feel "guilty" and how to acknowledge your feelings without wasting emotional energy on useless guilt -- check it out: http://www.motherchronicle.com/watchyour...

Katherine - posted on 02/14/2010

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Ok human chocolate milk lol Yeah people do cringe when you say BREAST.

Minnie - posted on 02/14/2010

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I hate the term breast milk. Doesn't every mammal have breasts? The term makes me thinkg Breeeaaaasssttsss.....like oooooooohhhhaoohhh, breasts...



Can't we say human milk?



And when people go "when can I give my baby regular milk?" GAH!

Geralyn - posted on 02/13/2010

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Katherine, that is so funny. I should give my son chocolate breast milk....

Katherine - posted on 02/13/2010

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Oh!!! Pump and dump was THE worst!!!! I had to have an x-ray and they said "ok, pump and dump for 24 hours." WHAT?????

I had an obscene supply with my second, that's what upsets me even more. I had a fridge and freezer full of milk. I gave my 4yo(this is so funny) chocolate breast milk.



We had run out of milk and she was insisting on chocolate milk. Can't hurt right? lmao just thinking about it.

Brenda - posted on 02/13/2010

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Yeah, I tell myself that. My stopping BF was similar to you Katherine. I went to the ER and when I told them I needed to express they brought me a cup. So I couldn't pump for about 7 hours until they told me when I was going for surgery and my husband could run and get my pump (which, new mom and didn't know better, I had a crappy one). Went in for sugery about 17 hours afterward. Was told to pump and dump for 24 hours afterward, and they just gave me Lortabs for pain (was laproscopy), but after a day without nursing or pumping, and the anesesia, I couldn't even pump an oz when I got home. And Nathan had never been a vigourous nurser, and he was so lazy nursing, he went to the bottle and wouldn't really take the breast afterward.



If I knew then what I know now...right? Ah well.



This is what happens when one is training to become a counselor... tough thoughts come up through the classes I am taking. I'm in a Women's empowerment class, and mothering and motherhood was a recent topic, and more than a few of us were a bit moved during the discussion.

Katherine - posted on 02/13/2010

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Well, the shoulda woulda coulda's won't take you back. Now you know and at least he got 4 weeks!! I had to stop BF(maybe I told you?) because of pain meds, what I didn't tell you was that I couldn't even take them because they knocked me out. So I stopped for no damn reason!!



Oh and I co slept with my 4yo and she still gets scared and won't sleep in her own bed. Being a parent is a VERY VERY hard job. You are doing a good job!! ^^^^ Please don't think I'm being apathetic, I just realized you might take that wrong. Just my personality.

Aleks - posted on 02/13/2010

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Hmmmm.... I have similar feelings regarding my first born :( I would love to have my 4yo sleeping in our room (which he sometimes does as his room gets incredibly hot and stuffy - we have had some super warm/hot nights this summer - and no real cooling except for a basic fan, which doesn't do much ). He loves sleeping in our room too. Problem, my other half... he's a bit of the typical westerner... own bedroom, own bed thinking (tho I seem to have gotten a bit of a greater repreive with my little girl, right from the start.... that's what little girls do to their daddys...lol). And that has been like that from almost the start... he couldn't wait to get him into his own room.. convinced me at around 4 mths!!! Now that I think about it... breaks my heart. And like another poster he mention put him (and ourselves) through so much stress in getting him to sleep thru the night, in his bed, etc When all he needed and wanted was comforting cuddle from mummy... sigh...
I am a bit heart broken over it... Though, I don't even know how I could bring it up in having him with us. I cherish the days when he is. I believe that my other half really likes it when he is with us too, but does not really think about having him with us permanently, as "its not the done thing". So, I ache silently....still... guilty... that I cannot fight for him. So, I do understand what you mean... as I am going thru the same thing...

Danielle - posted on 02/12/2010

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I have a big hug for you too! I think I know exactly how you feel. When Logan came around and I breastfed, cloth diapered, stopped vaccinating, started babywearing and decided cosleeping WASN'T the devil, I felt like Adam had been slighted.
I was 16 when I had Adam and everyone around me formula fed so not once did I think of breastfeeding until he was about 6 weeks old and I instinctively almost put him to my breast when he was crying- I only didn't because my ignorance led me to believe that at that point it was "too late". I attempted to cloth diaper him with gerber prefolds, pins and plastic pants and gave up after 2 weeks. I let him CIO b/c that's what my dad said needed to be done (the advice they had been given 16 years prior with me) and he's a good dad so I just did as he suggested. I vax'd him as I believed at the time that it was the best thing for him and just blindly followed doctors suggestions. I also fed him solids at 4 months and in hindsight I don't believe he was remotely ready. I spent 3 years fighting with Adam night after night after night to get OUT of MY bed...So much stress on both of us that I later realized wasn't worth it.
With Logan he was breastfed, cloth diapered, worn constantly in a sling or mei tai, I shared my bed w/him and every decision (vax'ing included) was thoroughly researched and I made INFORMED decisions instead of just doing what my parents did or what the doctors said.
This time, with my little Xander, I still feel like the first 2 were slighted because Xander is intact and my older 2 were circumsized.

The way that I make myself feel better for the differences in parenting is by reminding myself (and I'm sure the same is true for you!) that I always had my childrens best interest at heart. I always did what *I* thought was BEST for them with the information that I had. When I knew better, I did better.

I think Adam has anxiety issues that I caused by spending all that time trying to force him out of my bed when all he needed was some mommy snuggling but all I can do now is comfort him and make sure he gets mommy and Adam time and knows that he's still special to me.
Like Geralyn said though, you are a wonderful mother to both of your sons. Again, we do the best with what we know and when we know better, we do better.

Brenda - posted on 02/11/2010

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Thanks. :) I'll take that hug, and I certainly am too hard on myself. But there are some days I think I do this more than others. It is so in my nature. I have just ben feeling it moreso this week than others, but it is always nice to talk to others about it. Live and learn, right? :)

Geralyn - posted on 02/11/2010

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Brenda, I am sending you a hug. You are being very hard on yourself. Remember that AP happens even without nursing and co-sleeping early on. Your natural parenting style has always been AP even before you probably even heard of it. You have bonded with Nathan in so many other ways that you are the one that he goes to to feel safe. There is no doubt in my mind that you have been a wonderful mother to your older son. You are a great mother to both. Yeah, it may be easier to "bond" by BF'ing or co-sleeping, but you bonded with Nathan in other ways.



Nathan may have anxiety and fear, but what you are doing to support and help him deal with those issues is tremendous. While your husband may not understand now, eventually he will see as your son grows up.



I am reading a book that Lucienne recommended - Buddhism for Mothers of Young Children (or something to that effect). We can stuck in the past, and it sucks the current energy out of you making you less available. You have to let it go. Okay, well the book is much more eloquent that I am.... But that was the gist. Just take a deep breath, breath out and send that negative emotion out into the atmosphere. When you start to feel guilty, think of a time, even when Nathan was a baby, that was a perfect moment for you two, and think about that moment and focus on it til the feeling passes. You and Nathan enjoyed that perfect moment together.

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