3 Things I Don't Feel Bad About

As it turns out, the world of motherhood is rife with guilt. There's a lot of hoo ha talk about how moms need to let other moms make their own decisions, but even still, there's a giant economic machine of baby crap to buy and forums full of anonymous posters and parents themselves who are looking for validation for their own decisions because, as it turns out, no one really knows what the crap they are doing.

More on that, I'm sure.

But there are three things I feel pretty great about (most of the time) and no amount of smug, passive-aggressive or well-meaning commentary can make me feel bad.

1. I will breastfeed where I need to.

No, I will not strip down and flash my boob, nor will I throw a tantrum if it looks like I'm making someone uncomfortable. I will make accommodations for situations where it may be less appropriate for the flash of nipple that's bound to make an appearance to be inappropriate or a distraction. I will be as discreet as I can be while not making myself or my baby inordinately uncomfortable. And I will nurse where I am. This includes, but is not limited to the dinner table, a sitting room, an airplane seat, a public bench, a public beach, among a group of friends, with a group of acquaintances, amidst a group of strangers. I can and will excuse myself quietly when I am uncomfortable nursing in a given situation. I don't need fanfare, sympathy, or an approving nod. 

2. I will sit and snuggle

Best advice I received about the first bit (especially coming off a fairly hectic schedule, and having sit around and do nothing guilt to begin with) is to soak it up. Soak up the tiny body, the tiny sounds, and the fleeting time your baby weighs less than a bowling ball. I will not feel guilty for not cleaning, walking visitors to the door, doing something productive, getting starting on getting back the pre-baby bod (barf!). I will not even feel guilty for not getting out and enjoying sunshine or tending to personal hygiene. 

I see it in the wistful eyes of every stranger who I pass, so many of whom comment, almost painfully nostalgic, 'OH, I remember those days. The way my baby just curled into my chest, and stretched, and yawned, and stared, and grew. Breathe him in.' 

3. I want to work... but not that much.

I struggle most with not feeling bad about this conflict, even though I've read a number of studies that confirm that most women feel this way, but so many women evangelize staying home as if it is the only life to strive for. And women who work full time defend it to the point of pushiness, as if not working full time is turning back the clock on women's rights.

But I love working. I love my job. I love the time away from my baby and the socialization that comes with it. I'm good at what I do and want to get better. But it's not my life. And I want to be home. To not be harried and to not need to plan the minutes of my day so carefully. 

I don't begrudge those who work more or less than me (unless they make me feel bad for my own balance). I'm lucky to get to have what I feel like is the best of both worlds, and until that luck runs out, I'll take advantage. 

Snuggle photo dump!

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