featured post: “hello – updated” by chon

I haven’t been the best blogger lately, or the best commenter either. I have a lot of things that I would *like* to write about, and many blocks that are “preventing” me from doing so. And as for commenting? Lately, posts have been nailing me and I need to return a few times before I can think of what to say. Sometimes, I end up saying nothing at all. No good.

So, I read this post, “hello – updated”  by Chon at Life Begins the other day, and I had to put the phone down and have a really good cry. Not because it’s sad! Because it is so brutally honest about the guilt we carry around as mothers (not to mention how that can affect us as bloggers). Instead of commenting, I sat down and emailed Chon to ask if I could feature it here instead. This is important.

Chon begins her post:

I haven’t lost my mojo as such but when you’re infertile there is always something to be pissed off about which makes for a great blog post. Then you always feel bad when you want to write a post about your baby and what happens after. Infertility gives you baby rose coloured classes and it isn’t always like that.

This. This is hard, for many of us now pregnant or parenting I would imagine. Do I sound ungrateful? Am I complaining? Am I rubbing it in? But here’s the real rub – this part is difficult too, and the guilt that comes along with admitting that it is HARD and not all sunshine and roses can be paralyzing. Can be devastating.

It’s been tough.

I have been so ashamed of introducing a bottle of formula I haven’t been able to write.

I feel guilty a lot. Even though I have this amazing daughter and even though I know I am really good at this parenting stuff these other things bring up intense feelings of guilt and regret and wishing I knew better.

When I wrote to Chon to ask her if I could feature this post, I mentioned that I appreciate her bravery in posting this because the guilt I felt over many things when HGB was about Molly’s age really messed me up. How can I feel so guilty, so incompetent, so… not into this when this is all I ever wanted?

HGB and Molly had different issues, but the weight thing… OH LORD HAVE MERCY! This I can relate to. My son is a Skinny Mini. I felt SO MUCH GUILT about this for so long, even though I *know* I cannot force him to eat. I felt it from myself, for my spouse, from reading what other kids of a similar age weighed. And you know what helped? The one thing that was the hardest for me to do: Talk with other mothers. Mothers who reminded me, over and over, that all babies are different, with different genes. That I am doing the absolute best that I know how to, and if I need to add something in, that’s okay too. He’ll be fine, and I’ll be fine.

I want to mention something else Chon said to me too, and something I think we could ALL be reminded of – “I think I do a good – no a great job with molly but it doesn’t erase my guilt”. Girl, AMEN. We ALL do a  good, no a great job, but that doesn’t erase our guilt. Is guilt just a part of motherhood? Probably. We all want the best for our children, but the best is impossible. Cognitively we know that, but “good enough” can often feel “less than” when it comes to your precious child. It’s not letting it eat you that is key. But how do we do that? Well, it’s something I am doing right now, on twitter, as I finish writing this post:

One thing I feel I have learned from this is that we say it takes a village to raise a child and then these days it is only us as parents that raise the child but when our village tries to intervene and give advice we get so defensive and pissed off and all this is my child I know what I am doing. But sometimes. Listen to that advice. Maybe they do know something. It wont hurt.

Sing it! When you are feeling low, guilty, overwhelmed, ashamed, or disheartened, honour that. Talk about it. Write about it. Write an email, or better yet a blog post to see if other women feel this too. Let people hold your hand for a minute the way you have no doubt held theirs at some other moment. It’s worth it. You are worth it.

You are a good, no, a great mother.

Please head over to Life Begins and read more about the brilliant Molly, her rad mum Chon, their challenges and successes. And give Chon a hug, because she’s awesome.

*****

Chon in her own words: Infertile. Now mummy to a beautiful little girl. Starting over. Looking at life. Remembering what it is like to be happy. I used to write over at My P.ath to Ins.anity & Beyond. No longer constantly insane. Actually smile a lot these days. Nicer person to be around. Happy to talk about my vagina and infertility to anyone, anywhere, anytime.

*****

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Trackbacks

  1. […] SRB drew our attention to a recent post by Chon of Life Begins about guilt in new motherhood and the struggle to find our voices (out loud and as bloggers) to process and talk about it. Read more in her post “hello– updated.” […]

  2. […] hello – updated by Chon (perspectives on parenting, honesty, guilt) […]

  3. […] hello – updated by Chon (perspectives on parenting, honesty, guilt) […]

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