Just Talking Tuesday: Wrangling the Guilt Monster Postpartum built

“I’m a bad mom because I have Postpartum.”

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard that since I started reaching out to other new moms struggling with Postpartum, I swear I would be richer than Donald Trump.

Thing is, we are NOT bad moms because we have Postpartum.

Postpartum is not like a breakfast cereal. It’s not like we woke up one day, went to the cabinet and chose the Postpartum Flakes with Insomnia nuggets sprinkled with a bit of Anxiety for good measure.


It chose us.

That bastard came trouncing into our homes, jumped into our beds with glee and announced it had no immediate plans for departure, grinning all the while, daring us to do something about it’s very presence.

Some may spring into action immediately. Others wait to see if it will disappear on it’s own. Still others wait to see if things will get worse before seeking out help.

We may hold our babies closer. We may push them away. We may yell. We may crawl into bed with Postpartum and cuddle close.

Rest assured though that Postpartum mamas are NOT BAD MOMS.

In fact, Postpartum Mamas are some of the most ferociously protective and strong mothers on the face of this planet.

Before our children are one, we have fought to protect them, to keep them safe. We beat ourselves up for yelling at them at 1 week, 1 month, 3 months, 6 months, whenever it was we lost our minds and could not tolerate another second of motherhood because we were literally unable to do so. We defend our relationship with them, redefine our relationship with them – our bond with them, however fragile or deconstructed has truly been born of fire and forged iron strong. We may not see it that first year. In fact, it may be the second, third, or fourth year before we realize just how strong our bond is with our Postpartum child.

More than anything, the lingering monster with which we wrangle on a daily basis is the Guilt Monster. He’s a slippery little devil.

We wrestle with him when our children cry. We wrestle with him when we leave our children, when our children misbehave and we discipline them. We wonder if our Postpartum affected our ability to parent. Are we bad parents because we had Postpartum? Are we harming our children because we can’t “snap out of it”? Guilt asks these questions. Guilt makes us second guess every decision. Guilt is the last monster to leave the nest. Frankly, guilt stays around in some aspect or another as long as we are parents. What changes is how we cope with the questions guilt attempts to force in our direction.

Spill your confessions here. Has Guilt sabotaged your recovery? Your parenting? Your relationship with others? Your job? Your decision to stay home as a parent?

Let’s get to just talkin!


9 thoughts on “Just Talking Tuesday: Wrangling the Guilt Monster Postpartum built

  1. Pingback: Warrior Moms of the Week, 12/5/10

  2. I have been thinking about this a lot the past couple days. Just yesterday I told my husband “I feel like I did something wrong, but I don’t think I did.” I felt guilty about something that was nonexistent. Every thing I do I think is some wrong. I second guess everything and then feel guilty for things I probably shouldn’t be. Now that I’m more aware of the PPD I wonder what is caused by it and what is just me being me (good or bad).

  3. I think the guilt is the hardest part for me, especially the guilt I feel over not being able to care for and be there for my older daughter. She’s 3 1/2 and we’ve all been struggling. I fight the feeling that I could/should/would do better.

    Day by day. I started counseling last week so I’m looking forward to working through this and saying goodbye to the guilt.

  4. I fight with guilt everyday. My counselor has helped me see that PPD is making me a better mom, not a bad one. I cherish the good days more and try and remember that the bad days won’t last forever. It’s a daily struggle, and there are still many days where I feel like I just can’t be a mom. I have turned inward and neglected my relationship with my husband, friends and family. Trying to find my way back out of the loneliness and realize what a great support system I have is not easy.

    • I had a huge problem with finding my way out of the loneliness too. Isolation is such a hard battle to fight too. My communication sucked, I attacked people for trying to help me, no one wanted to be around me, I didn’t want to be around anyone – it was all so much better if they just left me alone!

      PPD has definitely made me a better mom in the long run. I still struggle with anger, frustration, etc, but because of PPD, I’m more mindful of my actions now and able to stop them before they go places they shouldn’t. It’s also allowed me to advocate better for my kids because I’ve had to advocate so much for myself and others in since struggling.

      Your bad days won’t last forever. ((hugs))

  5. YES!!! I feel as though you took these words right out of my brain and wrote them all out for me!! The guilt that I feel some days is unbearable. My self-esteem and confidence has been lost for the past 2 + yrs (I am working on getting some back). I don’t work, just the thought of returning to work sends me into a major panic attack so I am a stay at home mom. I keep ALL relationships farther than arms length because I feel as though I can’t let anyone too close for fear that I am going to disappoint them. I still do not feel as though I have bonded with my youngest son, and I feel as though my oldest son is slipping through my hands, and that I am not there for him the way I used to be…I don’t watch the news all that often, and I stay away from newspapers.

  6. yes and the loss of my confidence. I am doing great however i stuggle with being weak.. i still need to filter what i read and watch.

    • I’ve not purposely watched a single newscast in nearly four years to avoid triggers, etc. One thing my Postpartum did for me was to help me be more mindful of what I watch on TV, what I read, and to what I expose my mind. And for that, I am grateful.

  7. Pingback: Tweets that mention Just Talking Tuesday: Wrangling the Guilt Monster Postpartum built | My Postpartum Voice -- Topsy.com

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