Tuesday, May 18, 2010

On Guilt

A friend of mine is going in tomorrow morning to be induced, and welcome her third daughter into the world. I called her today: How was she feeling? Anxious? Excited? Scared? Calm? (After all, it IS her third!). But her answer surprised me: She was feeling guilty.

Guilty that she was choosing to accept induction, rather than wait to go into labor naturally, though her baby is is an unfortunate "stuck" position. Guilty that her discomfort and agonizing is not the chipper mood she wanted to set for her two little girls before their sister arrives. So much guilt. It made me want to give her a hug, and then go shake some sense into her! What an unfortunate way to be feeling, the day before welcoming a new little baby into the world.

But then I realized that I had been beating myself up just the day before, because I hadn't spent time doing the prescribed physical therapy moves with my own four-month-old. The day was busy and time just got away from us, and that night I kicked myself for not taking just 15 minutes to practice the moves that will help with her strength.

I doubt any of us, when we made that momentous decision to become a mother, thought to ourselves, "I can't wait to have someone to nuzzle, someone to influence, someone to laugh with, someone with the ability to make me feel completely inadequate as a human being."

No, the reason we do what we do, why we are who we are, is based solely on one terrific and resounding truthful emotion: pure, sheer, ridiculous LOVE.

Will my Mirabel grow up not ever being able to hold up her head? Will Dee's daughters be forever traumatized because she wasn't skipping through the park with them the day before their sister's arrival? No. Our children are so very fortunate to have us as their mothers, to guide them and fill them with this true love. What we need to remember to do is take the time to love ourselves!

And that is reason # 746 I love Stroller Strides (reasons 1 through 745 have to do with the camaraderie, the wonderful example I'm setting for my child, and the overall feeling of accomplishment I have after completing a class). Reason 746 is that, with the help of Stroller Strides, I love ME. I feel strong in my body, clear in my mind, and content in my soul knowing that I am doing something so good for myself, and, in turn, so good for my babies.

And that makes the guilt a lot more manageable. It's still there, but I don't lose as much sleep when, say, my three-year-old pulls down her pants and goes peepee on the lawn at her own birthday party. She's a happy, thriving little girl, and it's my goal to be the same.

Go hug your kids, and then give yourself a pat on the back. You're doing a great job, and you're a wonderful mommy.


kara said...

perfect. absolutely perfect. thanks emily!

Brian and Dawn said...

Thank you friend...thank you!