When you're pregnant for the first time, other moms don't talk to you about the awful mom guilt that will plague you from second one of birth all the way through...well? Who knows. Only time will tell.

Other moms like to tell you about cravings and weight gain. They like to talk to you about those tiny socks and the boo-boo bunny ice packs that are cute, but you will probably never use. They have an opinion on which diapers to use, co-sleeping, nipple cream, ways to curb nausea and which way to sleep if you want a boy vs. girl. They love to tell you about bodily functions like gas and nipple size, but they never warn you about one of the most important things:


Before I had Ella, I had no idea about mom guilt. I mean, sure I knew about GUILT. I've slept in on Sunday mornings instead of going to church. I've cheated on some diets. (Sometimes even on Sunday mornings.) But I had no idea that becoming a parent would take guilt to a whole new unimaginable level (also known as NEVER-BEING-ABLE-TO-DO-ANYTHING-AGAIN-WITHOUT-LOSING-SLEEP-AND-GAINING-GRAY-HAIRS MOM GUILT).

I've written before about Gymboree. In case you aren't familiar, it is a "gym" for babies/kids that is built around learning concepts disguised within directed play. Or, if you're Ella, it's less about directed play and more about running around and singing to yourself and dancing in the middle while everyone else is sitting on the mat during circle time.

I've met some really great people at Gymboree -- some who are even becoming fast friends (you know who you are). I've also met a few Guilter Moms. (You may not know who you are. In order to find out, look around. You're the mom that no one is talking to...) Since Gymboree is a gathering place for (mostly) moms and kids, there's definitely going to be some throw down of guilt.

The Guilter Moms are pretty easy to spot -- they're the ones who ask you disguised simple questions in order to gauge how much smarter their child is than yours. You can tell them by the smug look they get on their face when your answer to, "Does Ella still take a bottle?" is "Of course, 17 times a day!" They then use it as an opportunity to respond with something like, "OH! Little Johnny hasn't taken a bottle since he was 7 months old and he started reading. Did I mention he's potty trained? Yeah, he has slept through the night since I taught him Latin at 4 months."

You know the ones.

Some other Good Egg Gymboree Moms and I touched recently on mom guilt. (You know who you are. Thanks for being there...) Turns out? Everyone has it. However, it doesn't just come from other moms. For some it comes from parents or grandparents. For some it comes from sisters. For some? It really does come from other moms. And those moms who make you feel bad? They're probably masking their own mom guilt.

For most of us, the mom guilt comes from the same person -- us. (Yep, that's our own self.) You are your own worst enemy. (Hey, don't take it personally, so am I.) Sometimes innocent comments from other moms are just that -- INNOCENT COMMENTS.


You don't have to be perfect.

You don't have to raise a whiz kid.

You do need to love and support your child. Aside from that? Everything else will fall into place.

I'm not sure when mom guilt ends. Perhaps it never does. Until then? Be gentle on yourself and other moms. And I'll try to do the same.


Danna Saunders said... @ 11:43 AM

I soooo get the mom guilt, I thought it was a myth, but it's very true. I enjoyed this post-very funny. (Esp the 4 mo old Latin speaker). And at 8 months, my son still doesn't sleep thru the night, so yeah..

WritRams said... @ 11:45 AM

Hey Danna,
I feel your pain. At 20 months, our daughter still RARELY sleeps through the night (sorry to make you cry LOL!).


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