Mama Worry & Guilt

Guess who went to his six month check up yesterday?

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He is perfectly healthy, strong and happy, weighing in at 16 lbs 4 oz!  He’s now in about the 50th percentile, which is way more than I could have asked for considering his slow start.  

At the appointment, we asked our pediatrician how much we should be feeding him, and how often.  Ever since he was a little guy, we’ve given him measured ounces every 2 hours, and lately we’ve upped the ounces and started to stretch out his feedings to every 2 1/2 or 3 hours.  I never really know if he’s hungry (although he’s always excited to see his bottle and eat!), I just feed him often because *I* feel responsible for his lack of growth in the beginning and I want to ensure his vitality from here on out. 

From what I hear, this psychological phenomenon isn’t rare.  When I speak with other mamas who had difficulties with breastfeeding, they often tell me they deal with the same internal guilt, fear and worry.  We should have known better to begin with, so from here on out we’ll feed them extra to make sure it never happens again. 

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His pediatrician said to offer him as much as he’ll eat (which is a lot… I’ve never seen this kid want to stop eating!), to pay more attention to his hunger cues and feed on demand.  I had to ask her what those looked like again because I’ve been so disconnected for so long, but I think I’ll get the hang of it.  6Jan2013 004

The addition of solid foods has made meal time so much fun for me!  The little guy can just eat and eat and eat.  I’m grateful that he’s got such a hearty appetite, but of course I also wonder if I’ve already screwed up his relationship with food by not giving him all that he needed in those first weeks. 

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Everyone I talk to says not to worry so much about it – he’s an extremely happy and healthy baby – but I feel like becoming a parent inherently entails feeling worry and guilt.  I had hoped that my issues with food wouldn’t extend to my son, but of course, there are lessons in all of this – especially for me. 

Aloha Pumehana.
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5 thoughts on “Mama Worry & Guilt

  1. Valerie says:

    Yes, I think it’s something many mamas have: guilt. I felt similar ways when my little one (now 16 months) was younger. I felt like it had to be my fault that he was not as big as his older brother had been at the same age. Both were exclusively b/f and yet there was a size difference, so what had *I* done?! Must be *my* fault!! Not healthy or helpful way of looking at it, but that was my reality nevertheless. :/ After his one year checkup when the pediatrician eased all concern I had about his size (which was perfect, btw) I was able to start relaxing. I have aimed at doing all that I can without worrying about what I cannot.
    Btw, your son is adorable! Glad he likes solids. 🙂

    • SimpleYetSignificant says:

      Thanks for this, Valerie ❤ I never thought about the feelings that might surface when you have more than one… you are such an inspiration for me! I hear that the feelings of worry will always be with me as a mother, but I hope to be able to relax some about it the way you've learned to do.

      And thank you! I'm so happy that he's such a great eater 🙂

      • Valerie says:

        You’re welcome. It’s easy to think you’re the only one feeling like you’re “failing” at a mommy thing, but it’s just not true!! A great mother is going to worry. 😉 We are pretty great, then, huh? haha
        Yes, some things you DO find easier to relax about as the years go by because you see that everything does work out. ❤ This has been especially true with homeschooling for me. I worried and stressed but the kids are doing great and I have relaxed and enjoyed teaching much more (and life in general).
        I look forward to reading more on your blog. 😀

  2. Melissa @TryingtoHeal says:

    Oh Haley, I remember when you were going through that rough time and it breaks my hear that you blame/d yourself. I don’t know what I can say to comfort you because I have not been through it, but he looks AMAZING and I’m sure that will grow up to be happy, healthy and with a good relationship with food! You are a GREAT mother! ❤

    • SimpleYetSignificant says:

      Thank you for all your support now and always, Melissa. Truly, being able to talk to you through it all has really helped, and I’ll NEVER forget your amazing help with the poi issue. You are such a gem!

      And thank you… I trust that he’ll have a great relationship with food ❤

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