Guilt. It's one of the emotions that comes with being a mom. No matter how on-top of things you are, at some point you'll miss something. Drop the ball. Feel like you could (or should) be doing more, even if it is out of your control. I was drowning in a sea of guilt just a few weeks ago because I wasn't making enough milk, and my daughter was hungry.
Everyone kept saying "Eat right" "Eat more" "Drink more water" "Try power pumping" "Don't supplement or your supply will never catch up".
So I ate more of the right stuff. I drank more water than my body knew what to do with. I power-pumped my nipples raw. And I didn't supplement. And I believed with all my might that my supply would catch up.
But Evie was screaming, and screaming, and screaming, and wouldn't sleep. Finally, tired and worn raw physically and emotionally, I made her a bottle. And she drank 6 oz. And she slept.
And I can't tell you how guilty and how much like a failure that moment made me feel.
It made me swing in and out of some very scary depressed moments. Probably the closest I've come to PPD.
Then I realized something. I was holding on to some ideal - some standard - that wasn't real. My daughter was fed. So why was I choosing to consume myself with guilt that I was a bad mom. That I was failing. That, as per usual, I wasn't, and couldn't be, enough.
In that moment, I decided to let go of the pressure to make myself and my body do something it was resisting. Let go of the guilt and instead accept where I was, with gratitude that I was able to solely breast-feed her for three months (something I hadn't actually planned on doing in the first place).
I can't tell you how much better I feel. How much saner I am. And how much happier my little girl with the full tummy is.
Do I still get judgement? Oh yes. Even people who love me think I'm giving up, and doing less than my best for my little girl. But you know what, Reader? Their opinions don't have to shape or impact my reality! I can choose to love them while letting go of their judgement, knowing that I AM doing the best I can for my little girl and myself, and I don't need to choose guilt. I can choose freedom instead.