I have to admit that I hate the term: mommy guilt.
However, I know firsthand that no matter how hard you fight it, it will eventually creep into your life and you’re suddenly faced with regrets and should-haves on a daily basis. I should have played more with my kids today. I shouldn’t have fed them drive-thru McDonalds. Why didn’t I read her that extra story?
Your brain will eventually become overrun with these thoughts and you’ll lay awake in the middle of the night promising yourself that tomorrow you’ll be a better mother.
I stopped breastfeeding Holland when he was 18 months old. And I did it for purely selfish reasons.
He was turning into a big boy and I had committed myself to a slow weaning process. I stopped offering the breast when he was whiny, then I stopped day time feedings altogether, and finally we stopped nighttime feedings. The only feeding he received for a couple of weeks was his morning feeding – his sister would let him out of his crib and he would run into my room, jump into my bed, and lay there breastfeeding for upwards of 45 minutes.
I don’t think I need to explain that a 45-minute feeding first thing in the morning started to become a bit of a nuisance. The whole time I lay there waiting for him to finish I felt like I was wasting time, we all needed to get ready for the day, out the door, get Chanel to school – she was late to school 4 out of 5 days a week at the time.
So finally I stopped letting him feed in the morning. It was a bit tricky, making sure I was dressed and ready before he even woke up – and then distraction techniques all morning (look – toast! look – juice! look – thomas!). But sometimes I look back and feel super bad that I stopped nursing.
I feel like I took away his ‘comfort’.
It’s ridiculous. I know that.
But sometimes you can’t help the way you feel.
Sometimes I feel like perhaps I shouldn’t have been so selfish, that I should be willing to allow him this comfort that he seeks. Isn’t that a horrible idea – that a mother took comfort away from her son?
I know it’s silly.
My son is doing GREAT.
We stopped breastfeeding and he started sleeping through the night, right away – that’s right, I am sleeping again! Sometimes a full 8 hours if I go to bed early enough – isn’t that incredible after a year and a half of being woken up every 2 – 3 hours?
But I still feel like I was a bit selfish in the way it ended.
I didn’t allow him to stop. I didn’t let him decide. I took it away from him.
I am shaking my head at myself even now.
Jay always joked that Holland would be five before he decided to quit the boob.
I wanted to stop. I wanted to take my boobs back. I was SO done with breastfeeding.
Stopping has given me the freedom to go out more often, it allows others to watch him and babysit him without worrying if he needs ‘booby’.
There were some days that I absolutely dreaded breastfeeding.
But there were more days where I loved it.
I used to feel guilty about wanting to stop.
Now I feel guilty that I have stopped.
When will this mommy guilt end??
Do you get mommy guilt?
What do you feel guilty about? What do you do about it?