The internet is both wonderful and terrible all at once.
Thanks to the internet, I was able to learn about many birthing options I wouldn’t have otherwise. As a result, I had a really positive experience even in the face of some [comparatively minor but still serious] complications.
Thanks to the internet, I found a high chair that meets all of our needs without having to trek to a Big Box Store of Baby Crap.
Thanks to the internet, I don’t have to completely spaz out about the fact that I have lost the doctor’s dosing instructions for baby tylenol (the packaging simply instructs me, unhelpfully, to consult a doctor).
And thanks to the internet, I have an incredible case of mommy guilt that is driving my whole family insane.
Let me tell you about all the horrible things I did this week. You may want to have a phone handy to call Child Protective Services.
– I fed Bitmap some jarred, conventional baby food. In fact, one of the foods I fed her had an additive (ascorbic acid).
– Later, when making up some sweet potatoes for her, I nuked them in the microwave instead of baking them.
– Speaking of food, at 6 months old Bitmap has been eating purees for over a month now.
– We let her watch TV with us. Also, we own TVs.
– We let her hang out in her bouncer saucer thing, because she loves the hell out of it.
– She sleeps in her own room, by herself. Sometimes when she cries we wait to see if she’ll settle herself first. Because we’re fucking exhausted.
– One night I forgot to turn the baby monitor back on after her 3am feeding, so I’m not sure how long she was crying before I finally woke up for her 5am feeding.
– Due to a miscommunication between my mom and myself, she was sent to bed without a bottle last night. She woke up at 3am ravenous. So basically it was exactly like every other night.
Obviously, these are not things that I objectively think are wrong. But that doesn’t stop me from feeling incredibly guilty about them. We stocked up on jarred baby food today, because it doesn’t go bad any time soon and it’s convenient to have around. And the whole time I felt awful, like every jar I put in the cart was some admission of defeat that I was not going to make the puree from scratch. And every puree I feed her, home made or not, is an attempt to shirk my responsibilities as Bitmap’s own personal dairy cow.
I worry about a long list of stupid things, all of which are clear indicators of my failure as a parent. It’s exhausting and I’m tired of it. And I’m tired of everyone who condemns people who make different parenting choices than they did, or acts like whatever granola hippie shit they’re into makes them magically a better parent and a wonderful person. But mostly I’m tired of the guilt that comes from somewhere entirely internal. I’m sick of feeling like I’m fucking it up every. single. day.
So fuck you, parenting guilt.