Monday, January 4, 2010

Guilty Confessions

I really hate New year's Resolutions. Honestly, I don't think many people are fond of them, but I have always absolutely abhorred them. They smack of false promises to yourself-- I mean, honestly, I have a lot of respect for people who lose 60 pounds, find a fabulous new career, and save the whales all in one year, but honestly, I'm more of a small scale girl. I like to space my goals out throughout the year and make them manageable-- work on furthering my education, try to go for walks or to the gym more often, etc. If you have a big goal, definitely go for it, but do it on your own terms, you know?

That's what I want this next year to be about-- doing things on my own terms. Granted, my focus has changed just a little from last year. Then, I was focused on getting through The Internship From Hell and planning a wedding and graduating from college, all of which happened in a two week period of each other. I never imagined that this year would be the year The Husband and I would be expecting to add to our family, but now, 17 days from the Bean's due date, I've gone into full-on mommy mode--- which to be honest, is a little scary.

I'm a researcher by nature--- when I'm freakingtheheckout about something, I read and study about it obsessively. This whole parenting gig is no exception. In the last nine months I've read literally thousands of articles about everything from epidurals to sleep training. There seems to be one overarching theme in all of this-- guilt. Parents are literally damned if they do, damned if they don't for every decision they make from the moment they conceive. One rather well-known book that will remain nameless but whose title rhymes with "Schmut to Schmecspect..." had me terrified that because I had a cocktail before I ever concieved, my child would come out with three heads. I put that book down rather quickly after that.

So here's my over-arching goal for the next year: I will not succumb to mommy guilt. I will not.
  • Yes, I'm going to try to do the birth medication-free. I'd like to see if I can. But if I make the decision to get the epidural or anything else to help The Bean or me have an easier time, I will not feel bad. The end goal is a healthy baby and mommy, not bragging rights at yoga class.
  • Yes, I'm going to try to breastfeed. (Ohh, this is a loaded one). If it doesn't work, I will do whatever I need to in order to make sure that my son is well-fed and happy. Either way, I will not feel bad. I am doing what I need to to make sure my son is healthy.
  • On that note, I might just breastfeed in public (gasp!). I don't plan on whipping my boobs out unsheltered-- let's be honest, they're pretty big. I might put out an eye with these puppies. But I refuse to feel bad about feeding my son behind a shield where nobody can see anything, even if I look like an idiot in adult bib. And I'll be damned if I'm going into a bathroom to feed him. Would you eat in a bathroom?
  • I know that I will be, by turns, tired, frustrated, exhausted, frantic, and just a little bit psycho. I will not feel bad about asking for help when I need it. I am not Superwoman, as much as would like to think I am. The Husband and I will need support. This is nothing to be ashamed of. I will get my pride out of the way, and I will allow myself to be human and feel human emotions.
  • I will make baby-free time for my husband and I. Maybe we'll leave The Bean with Grandma and Grandpa for a weekend and go somewhere. Or just ask someone to watch him for a couple hours while we go for a date. But I will not feel bad for taking time to build up the most important adult relationship I have. Our marraige being strong is the best gift The Husband and I could ever give our children, much more so than seeing them 24 hours a day. If we can first and foremost show our love for each other, our children will always know that they are loved-- they are a product of that love.
There's a lot more that falls under this category, but the main point is this: I refuse to feel bad about the choices I make for my family. I will do everything in my power to make sure we are all--- me included--- healthy, happy, loved, and growing in our relationships. But if I give my 8-month-old a taste of my ice cream this summer, I will not agonize over whether he's going to have weight issues for the rest of his life. If my kid has a pacifier for longer than the books say he should, oh well. Above all, I want to be flexible. So I might be a baby-wearing, non-circumsizing, breastfeeder--or not-- and I might at the same time also be a non-cosleeping, weaning-early, sleeptrainer. And I'm ok with that.

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