I swore to myself that I’d avoid the mommy wars. That I’d not judge myself harshly based on other parents. Not succumb to making myself feel better the easy way by judging other parents, whether based on long association or just on how our respective littles were behaving in a moment in the grocery store.
For the most part, I’ve succeeded in this. Where I have failed, and failed miserably, is in not giving in to guilt. Guilt because I gave birth to a healthy baby when several of my friends can’t even get pregnant. Guilt that nursing came easily, if painfully at first, to Baby Gecko and I while so many mothers struggle for weeks and months. There’s the guilt from being able to stay home for five months with my little man, and the guilt from having to return to work.
I feel ungrateful when I complain about being sleep-deprived, because Baby Gecko usually only wakes once in the night and has for weeks now. Then there’s the absolute terror that he won’t wake up. I battle the feeling that, since everything is going so well, something bad must be about to happen. I’ve battled that feeling since I was young, over any major event in my life. Like many feelings since Baby Gecko’s arrival, this particular one has intensified.
I have been working on my guilt. It’s getting easier to manage, especially as I get more sleep and a better perspective. Mr. Gecko has been very supportive through all of this, especially during my crying meltdowns. I don’t write this to humblebrag or to get sympathy or for any acknowledgement at all. I debated with myself whether to even post this. I feel better for writing it all down, though, and maybe someone out there will feel better and less alone for reading it.