Mom guilt. I first experienced mom guilt when I stopped breastfeeding Owen. Call me naive, but I truly didn’t realize how time consuming breastfeeding would be until I had a baby stuck to my breast seemingly 24/7. Owen had acid reflex, which caused him to cluster feed, so instead of feeding every few hours he fed every 10-15 minutes. Not wanting to breastfeed all day everyday, I stopped earlier than I had originally planned.
Even though Ian put absolutely no pressure on me to breastfeed, I felt that I had failed Owen. To be honest, I felt major mom guilt. It seemed like I was doing something wrong by feeding him formula. Was I less of a mom because I wasn’t able to provide him breast milk? Was I less of a mom because I didn’t love breastfeeding? While I knew deep down that all would be okay with Owen, I still felt guilty.
When I had Collin, I knew from the beginning I was going to try my darnedest to breastfeed him as long as possible. And by doing so, I believed, again naively, I was going to avoid mom guilt. Even if that meant pumping in my classroom before my students arrived and during my lunch breaks, I was going to push through and be a better mom. Well, you know what? I still felt/feel mom guilt.
I’m constantly questioning whether I’m pumping enough. I question if I should breastfeed or bottle feed. Breastfeeding means I produce more, but pumping means I can freeze more. Ugh. For a few weeks Collin went through a “I don’t want anything to do with your boobs phase” which made me feel even more guilty. Why did he not want me?
I know it’s absurd, but it’s pressure I put on myself that was and still is truly hard to let go.