Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mommy Guilt

Have you met my old pal Mommy Guilt?

I'm not talking about that nagging feeling that your kids aren't in as many "enrichment" activities as other children. Or that they share a room instead of having their own (actually, I'm pretty much in favor of room sharing, at least for the younger years). Or the fact that sometimes, OK, nearly all the time, you let them eat sugary cereal for breakfast because 1.) they like it and 2.) they can fix it themselves.

That's just normal mom stuff. What about the real deal?

As most of you know by now, Prince Charming and I (and the girls, of course) are expecting baby #4. (And for the sake of argument, let's just assume she's also daughter #4. We don't know this for a fact, of course, but it seems like a safe bet.) I'm a little over 12 weeks pregnant (due date: September 23. Make your travel & shopping plans now).

And this baby is what we like to call a surprise. As in: "Surprise! The reason I'm not feeling well is because a new little human is growing inside of me! How did that happen?" (Um, never mind that last bit. I know perfectly well how this happened, thankyouverymuch.)

Is it confessing too much to tell you that my first reaction was not one of joy? I mean, how horrible does that sound? The ugly truth was this blessed event was not my timing. And I'm - please don't say you haven't noticed - a bit of a um, is there a nice way to say this? control freak.

Now you're shaking your head at what a ridiculous person I am. That's OK. I've done plenty of head shaking my own self. Because I have a few friends who have wanted, longed, craved and waited for a baby. Some for their first. Some for another.

And one of those friends has recently suffered the dreaded doctor visit where the baby - the much longed for, the much prayed for - no longer has a heartbeat.

Hearts break into a million pieces on that news. Because it isn't just hope that dies. It's an actual Child. A loved and precious little son or daughter. A grandchild. And this could have been a life long friend for our little baby. They were due almost on the same day.

That's Mommy Guilt inducing right there. I prayed for God to forgive my attitude, my pride and my fear. I asked my baby - yes, I know she can't hear me yet but c'mon, if I talk to myself (and I do) then I might as well talk to her - to forgive her foolish Mommy. (Talk about humbling! She's not even born yet and she's already teaching me important lessons)

I had my first doctor appointment this week and heard that miraculous little swish-swish heartbeat. There are very few sounds as moving as that one; the newborn's first cry being right up there with it. I know that every time I'm at the doctor's office I'll be praying for my friend and her family - for healing, for comfort, and yes, that God will bless them with another child. I don't think it's wrong to pray for that.

As for us, now we're trotting out our baby name books and making lists (I must admit it's a little harder to come up with Girl #4 name. But that makes it fun). Making plans. Eyeballing some nifty things we didn't have with our others (I've got my eye on that Moby wrap my sister sported so well with Fen...)And looking at baby pictures from when our now big girls were the babies and how cute we make 'em. (THE cutest babies ever, if I do say so)

What a great God we serve! How humbling that He lets us be parents. This isn't my first baby but it's still amazing to think of what a priceless treasure He's entrusting to us.

And, in case you're wondering, He's really good at healing Mommy Guilt too. Ask me how I know.


Amy said...

What a great post! Thanks for the honesty, and the reminder of God's goodness. Praying for your friend tonight....

Pastor said...

"What a great God we serve! How humbling that He lets us be parents." How thankful I am for that truth and how happy I am that you know it!

Pastor Dad

Karabeth said...

1.I know this feeling well.
2.And I know the Lord who helps us through it well, too.

There's no doubt that the Mommy Guilt would still eat me alive if both of those statements weren't true.

My first experience with it happened during Pregnancy #2 when we announced our news in church and saw the hurt faces of friends who would never go through Pregnancy #1.

The second time was after Pregnancy #3 when our friends' baby (born a few days after ours) died within weeks. Dare I admit that I still suffer pangs of Mommy Guilt over this one? But our friends, as you well know, have been gracious to let us off the hook because they know the same God we do and know that He is the one who gives and takes life and not us. I'm so glad I don't hold that power in my hand. I have faith that your friends will be just as gracious.

Love you much!

MacKenzie said...

I read your last two posts in the wrong order so it makes more sense now but either way, I totally understand the mommy guilt. Praise God that you're right about at the second part too - He's good at working on us, even when it comes to dealing with Mommy guilt!

Vicky said...

I felt that guilt with Carol Kittle's birth of Tristen (sp??).
We were pretty good friends when they attended ABC while Tim was the Assistant there during 83-88. I sooooo hated it when she was born with Spinabifida. The weird thing about it is that Carol and Steve just seemed to take it in stride. Yes, how good God is to allow us to be parents and even going as far as knowing who can handle the problems of birth defects or the complete loss of a child at no matter what their stage of development is.

Greyson said...

Yep -- I'm with you! Right before we found out about Addie, our babysitter had mc'd her first. So heartbreaking. And here I was with #3 on the way -- which was a H-U-G-E surprise to us! :)

Congratulations, by the way! Can't wait to meet the new little one.

Renae said...


When I found out I was pregnant with my third baby, I cried. Her sister was only 9 months old and I was just so freaked out. I wasn't ready! It only took a few moments for my tears to turn to laughter. So much for my plans.

Now I can't even imagine life without my Sweet Pea.

baby slings said...

It is all in the hands of God alone friend, there are even miscarriages or complications with those who take more care than any of us !

Charlotte said...

My cousin suffered that Mommy guilt, we had been trying as long and she had just told us she was done, we have a beautiful 7 year old, 6 weeks older than her middle daughter and she was going in to get her Tubes tied when she found out she was pregnant with her third, She was 8 months pregnant before she shared since we live so far apart, My sister in law had the same issue although she has lost 3 since she has been blessed with a second pregnancy in two years. After a while you learn to be content with the blessings you have or don't have.

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