Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Momma Guilt

This was my guest post for Brooklyn over at This Little Blonde, I really-really loved it and I wanted to share it here for those who missed it over there!

My little family at Christmas this year.

I struggled with what to write for this post. I had a whole thing on marriage written up and ready to go, but then I thought...maybe you don't want a post on marriage from someone who has only been married a year and a few months. If you ever do want that post, let me know because it's just waiting in my draft folders.

I finally decided on something about Gracie. I mean, my blog is called Growing Gracie after all. 

Gracie had to get her 9 month flu shot two weeks ago and at that appointment we found out that she is slightly anemic. Okay okay okay...that is jumping the gun. Her iron levels were lower than normal so now we have to give her iron drops in the morning and we have to add a lot of iron fortified foods--then go back in two months and retest.

Normal people would probably roll with the punches on this...I am not a normal person. I do not have the ability to roll with any kind of punches. 

This filled me with so much guilt that I was in a funk for a few hours after the appointment. Why, you ask? Because I am severely anemic and anemia is most often genetic. 

Basically, I gave my daughter anemia.

Are you laughing yet? I know I know--I didn't give her it...but in my eyes, I did. If she didn't have me as a mother, and had some other mom that didn't have anemia--she more than likely would have normal Iron levels.

This guilt...this momma guilt. I tell you what, this is worse than Catholic guilt. 

I started experiencing momma guilt when Gracie was born and she had jaundice. Because of my blood type, Gracie was more suspetible to jaundice, even if her blood type didn't match mine (which it doesn't, she has her daddy's blood type), by just coming from me, it put her at risk for jaundice. Guilt scratched and clawed it's way into parts of my brain...

Then, at 4 1/2 months, my milk stopped coming in even though I did EVERYTHING to prevent it from happening. I felt horrible! My plan was to nurse until she had teeth (at least 6 months), then pump and put it in a sippy cup or bottle. If Grace had some other mom who had an infinite supply of milk, she'd be getting nutrients that formula just can't give her. Guilt sloooowly taking over my entire brain....

Now this thing with anemia. Guilt has taken over my brain. 

This guilt is horrible! I feel like man, if she just had a different mom, she would be better off...

But then I thought...that's crap. 

No one can love Gracie the way I do. No one knows Gracie the way I do, not even Daniel. 

I know every single one of her cries. I know when she wants to play and when she wants to walk. I know when she means business and when she is kidding. I know the difference between I don't want to eat and I want to eat but I am gonna be a stink about it because I can. I know how to comfort her best when she gets hurt or is scared. I know every bump and every bruise because I have literally been with her since the very beginning, since her beginning. I am the best mom for Gracie because, simply, I am Gracie's mom. 

My guilt is ridiculous! I can't help that I am anemic any more than Gracie can. I certainly can't help my blood type or when my milk stops. All the things I was feeling guilty for--there is no way for me to control it.

This guilt I feel, it's just the adversary trying to make me doubt myself, which is one of his very favorite things. (Hello, Eve in the Garden of Eden.

So I took a minute and thought about myself as a mom and to be honest, I felt pretty good. I truly think I am a good mom, and I do my best. There are always things I can improve on, but they are all within my control!

This all has reminded me that Gracie chose to be my baby. She loved me from heaven, pointed to God and said "Her. I want her to be my mommy." Who am I to doubt Gracie's choice? I now just have to prove that I am worthy of that choice.

I have to let GO of the things I can't control. I am finally starting to realize the weight of the saying "Let go, and let God." 

There are going to be a million and one things in my life that I can't control, especially when it comes to Gracie.

But there are also going to be a million and one things that I CAN control, and that's what I need to focus on.

Everything else? I'll leave that and trust that--to God. He does, after all, know best.



  1. I am really anemic too ): She is sooooooo precious!

  2. I'm also anemic - I had to take iron pills after my first pregnancy and through my second. I think it may be more common than you think!

  3. Tanika, I just loved reading this post. I know all about the momma guilt. I get it too. It's so easy to feel inadequate. But I loved what you said about how Gracie picked you to be her momma. I even teared up a little bit thinking how Joshua did the same thing with me. Anyway, it's so true! She picked you--and she really could not have chosen better. You are such a good mom to that precious little child. You should know that I look up to you. Love ya girlie! :)

  4. This is an amazing post - I love how you can be so honest and real and at the same time lift other people up. Thank you for this, sooo much!


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