After you have a baby (and before, a little bit, but mostly after), it can be really hard to avoid feeling guilty about everything you do, no matter what you do. You constantly wonder, "am I doing enough? Did I do that right? Did I make the right choice? Am I doing what's best?" Right? I know I'm not alone in this.
First, there are the parenting decisions that you have to make that you just don't know the "right" answers to. Which vaccination schedule? When to start solids? Do I call the pediatrician for this (insert random baffling baby symptom here)? You do your research, but your time and energy is limited, and sometimes you just have to go with your gut and hope that you made the right choice.
Then there are the decisions you have to make that involve balancing your baby's best interests and your best interests. Those are the ones that really suck. Do I quit breastfeeding/pumping because it's making me lose my sanity? Do I go back to work full-time because I love my job, even though it means very little time with my baby? Do I sleep train her so that I can get just a couple hours of sleep, please, for the love of God? In these cases, I have found it's best to consider both sides, but remind yourself repeatedly that a happy baby means a happy mama, and if you are miserable doing something just because you think it's best, your baby is going to pick up on that, and that's no good for her either. (Of course, you will still feel guilty no matter what you choose. That's part of the job description.)
Aside from the big decisions, there is just the day-to-day guilt that you can't really escape no matter what you do. "Am I doing enough to stimulate her? Am I hovering over her too much? I should read to her more... I feel like I never read to her. Oh no. She's going to grow up to be illiterate and hate school and will never succeed in life." (When really, let's be honest-- at this point, she thinks books are for teething.) Maybe this is just a new-mom thing, or maybe I way-overthink every little thing and I'm a crazy person, but I think it's freaking exhausting.
So tell me, what gives you mommy guilt? And more importantly, how do you let go of it in order to keep your sanity?