From conception to birth and beyond, motherhood brings about many emotions. (Seriously, do your hormones ever go back to “normal?”) There’s even a discovery of new emotions! (Who knew?!?!?!?!) And one of the biggest, fiercest and often most prevalent…drumroll please – da da dahhhh….MOM GUILT! Let’s chat!
Oh, food! I love food. I find so much pleasure in having and/or preparing a good meal. But now that I’m a mom, thinking about food is a chore! The responsibility of keeping another human being fed is the most cumbrous part of my day. And knowing that I didn’t have to constantly wonder if my baby was being fed is the ONLY thing I miss about pregnancy. Once you have a child, there is a whole new meaning to the term ‘food fight!’
It’s a battle that begins in the womb: breast-feeding versus formula. Does choosing formula make you a bad mom? Does breast-feeding automatically make you a good one? Can you afford to choose formula? Can your body really handle the demands of breast-feeding? Can you change your mind after baby arrives?
Because once baby arrives, it is ON. All they want to do…eat. All you want to do…sleep. Yet despite sleep deprivation and a half functioning mind, you’re still wondering, “Are they getting enough to eat? How would I even really know? How often do we have to do this again? How long is this feeding supposed to last? Is anything even really coming out of there?”
It is a never-ending list of worries and questions. As time passes, those questions find answers. Those hypotheticals become reality. Difficult choices must be made and boy can the guilt pile on.
I just knew I was going to breast-feed for AT LEAST a year. I just knew me, my body and baby would figure it out. I was not prepared for the struggle. Latching was a struggle. Producing was a struggle. Giving up was a struggle. I often tell the story of transitioning to formula like it was no big deal, but the truth is I felt guilty. I felt like a failure.
So I was determined not to fail at choosing the perfect formula. So many hours spent researching formula. I read success stories and horror stories alike – hoping and praying we were doing right by our child. I looked forward to the day we could transition to milk, because that would be straightforward and simple.
Not! There might be more milk options than formula options. Seriously, when does it end?!?!?! After milk, there are purees. Then there are soft foods. Then come legit solids: too big, too small, too soft, too hard, too many spices, not suitable for this many months old, but that many months old. AHHH!
Then an opinionated and picky toddler arrives. There’s nothing like a parent-toddler death match over food. “Fine, go to bed hungry! Starve if I care.” That might be a win for parenting, but geez if that doesn’t make you feel bad too.
I am SO OVER IT! Conclusion, I really hate thinking about food.