And the mothers’ guilt begins …

Ever since I hired a nanny and have been trying to get Shea on a sleep schedule, I’ve been feeling guilty. The last two times I asked the nanny to come for three hours, but I was just getting started on my work (after going to the gym) by the end of the three hours, so I asked her to stay for two more. By the end of that time, I missed Shea tremendously and felt so guilty for leaving him with a stranger all day knowing that I would be putting him to bed just four hours later. And yet I totally trust the nanny, and she gives him more attention than I would if I had him all day. And the best part is that it gives me the break I need to remain sane and to be able to give him my full attention when I am with him.

This sleep schedule thing is tough, too. I haven’t read the sleep book I have yet (one of many out there), but it’s so difficult to let him cry when he’s only eight weeks old. And he doesn’t cry, he SCREAMS. If I let him scream, I feel like I’m traumatizing him, and if I pick him up, I feel like I’m destroying our chance of getting him on a schedule. It feels like a no-win situation. We’re working at it, though.

I ran into the mother of a former student of mine at Borders a couple of weeks ago, and her advice to me (which was great advice) was not to stress over every little thing, not to worry about whether we’re doing everything perfect. So I try not to feel guilty that sometimes I give him formula instead of breast milk to get him to sleep longer, or because my nipples are tired of being munched on. Or that we give him a pacifier (he LOVES the pacifier) when he’s fussy. I try to focus on the fact that I’ve never gotten angry with him, that I sing him songs and take him for walks and do tummy time every day, that I pump so he’ll have breast milk when the nanny starts coming all day, etc. etc. But it’s hard not to feel guilty when he’s screaming, like he is right now.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “And the mothers’ guilt begins …

  1. My mother-in-law told me that the best rule to follow is the one that causes both you and the baby the least amount of stress–if you are relaxed and happy, then that will benefit your baby. So if that means formula instead of breast milk, or if you get a nanny a few days a week, so be it. You and your baby will be happier for it!

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