Mummy guilt (and PND)

Mummy guilt is something that I think most of us probably suffer from, for one reason or another. I know I have, with both of my boys throughout the last couple of years (and many more to come, I’m sure!).

One of the first times I suffered – badly – was with my breastfeeding guilt after I failed with J. This partly led to my suffering from postnatal depression. Breastfeeding guilt is a horrible thing to feel, as everywhere you look you are reminded, of how you couldn’t/didn’t provide the best for your baby. I felt like I was being judged, by everyone – the PND made this 100x worse. Even if you feel you made the correct decision, it still creeps in. With J I now know I didn’t make that best decision, which is why I was more determined this time. This time I have suffered, but not nearly as much as I did with J, because this time I know I tried the hardest that I could. This time I am feeling more envy than guilt, which I will write about in a later post.

Giving birth to N and these few first months, I have felt so much love for him and just wanted to be with him all of the time, and he still hasn’t had a night away from me like J did. I haven’t written this before so I am opening up a little more now, but with J – due to the PND – I just didn’t feel that and now I feel so guilty for him because he missed out on so much of my love, affection & attention. At every opportunity offered I would just ‘palm’ him off on someone else. He didn’t deserve that. He was just an innocent child, a child that just wanted, needed, to be unconditionally loved. Gosh, deep down I did love him, but it just wasn’t there, on the surface. And now I’m feeling almighty guilt.

Now I obviously have to split my attention between the two and it’s only just in the last year or so that J has gotten my attention all to himself, and for that I feel guilty as my full attention has disappeared for him again. N will know no different, as he will from the beginning of his life, have had to share it. Don’t get me wrong, I do have one on one time with J now, he needs it. He has always been a child that needs lots of attention, and I often wonder if that’s because I didn’t give it to him for his first few months?

But, they will never know my guilt, unless one day they choose to read my blog. The joy of innocence. I just hope that they both grow up knowing I have always loved them, and always will. That it’s those evil hormones of depression that have made me feel this way, and not them.

They are both innocent.

I am guilty.

Where in your motherhood journey have you experienced Mummy guilt?

6 thoughts on “Mummy guilt (and PND)

  1. Its good that you recognise this Stacey. Its the taboo about giving birth and should be spoken about more.I think more Mums would admit to feeling this way if we did! Personally its sometimes taken me longer to fall in love with some of my newborns and I don't think its made any difference to who they are now Don't worry…we all get an honorary degree in guilt pretty much as soon as we know we are pregnant!

  2. In my case right from conception. I felt my weight meant I shouldn't have a baby. And then it all got worse. When I had Joseph at 27 weeks I completely blamed myself and felt utter guilt. I felt guilt at resenting NICU. I just wanted to be "normal". It all started getting better when I realised all mothers, and all premmie mums feel immense guilt, and I started being kinder to myself. It still rears it's head from time to time.

  3. Thank you for sharing this. I think all mums hav me guilt.. I know I do. Guilt about his birth, guilt about pnd, guilt about wanting to have another baby, guilt about not worrying about having a clean house when i could have been holding him more. Its hard isnt it to have guilt, but normal 🙂

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