It started when I was in the office and looking through Instagram. My friends had posted pictures of them with their kids; one of them was having a party for her child. It was such a beautiful party, everything was so organised the colours were the same throughout from the chair to the table to the cutlery to the plates! Everything was from the child’s favourite cartoon and she said she organised, bought and arranged the party by herself.
Another picture was at a child school: they had a children’s carnival and she showcased the pastries that she made – cakes, meat pies, sausage rolls and fried rice but I could not bake to even save my life.
The third lady was having a photo shoot with her family. They were a family of 5. Her husband looked so happy and her children looked so well-fed and well-dressed. They were celebrating 15 years together. In the caption, she talked about how she was a stay-at-home mum: how she cooks, cleans the house full time. She also took pictures of her perfect house; how she makes her kids’ dresses and a few of her husband’s by hand! She mentioned how she breastfed each of her three children for two good years and that was it for me.
I broke down and I cried because it was overwhelming. I was a bad mum: that was how I felt. I could never keep up with these ‘perfect’ mums.
I was so crazy about my career, I had put off having kids for 3 years of my marriage. Then my husband started complaining: “when will we start having children?!” My inlaws began disturbing us about it and so did my Mum.
So, we started trying for kids. I thought it’d be easy since it was easy for my siblings but it took us another 3 years and some, with the help of medications, to get me pregnant. Then when the baby arrived, as if to punish me, I wasn’t lactating so I could not breastfeed my baby immediately. That got me funny looks from other mothers and some of the nurses. I felt so bad as though it was my fault. It got worse when I got a nanny and resumed work a month after giving birth. My inlaws complained that my baby was too small for me to abandon as if I wasn’t coming back home. To rub in the guilt, my own Mum moved into the guest room, to stay with the baby and my nanny, to ensure my baby was not maltreated. It was a relief but a guilt-tugging one.
I have been battling guilt now for a long time since my baby arrived. I couldn’t make her cereal smooth like the adverts showed and I didn’t know how to make home-made food, talk less of weaning my baby off baby cereal.
To make matters worse, my baby loves her nanny and grannies plus daddy more than me. Her first words were “dada”! As if I expected anything else, lol.
Now my friends are using social media to rub it in my face that I am a bad mum. I have been a mess for days now. I tried to tell my husband that I think something is wrong with me but he is too angry about my choices concerning our daughter to care about my wellbeing. I know I need help, I have not been concentrating at work and 2ce this week, I didn’t even show up at work. I went to the cinema and cried through the movies I watched.
I know something is wrong with me but I don’t know where to go or who to see. Can you help?
Felicia like many ladies have felt the mom guilt and some slip into depression without knowing it. No Mum has it all together, we are just doing our best. Have you ever felt this way or know someone who has? Share with us in the comment below.
Next week, we will talk about mom guilt and depression, pinpointing symptoms and ways we can get through it.