Guilt and other biscuits.

Not really sure what the biscuits are for but here are my musings for the day. I heard recently that teachers are the second largest group of people who feel guilty (with mums being the largest). It was pointed out that teachers are often hesitant to change things. Not because they think they are always right, or that they are lazy, but to change the way they do something means accepting that what you were doing was not the best way to do something. This leads to guilt about not having done the best for previous students – because really the vast, vast majority of teachers really do want what is best for students.

Then after hearing my husband come out with basically the same idea in a totally different context (and I didn’t talk to him about it), I got to thinking about the largest group of people who feel guilty. Us. Mums.

How many times have you changed the way you do something like feeding or sleep, to have a huge improvement. And then feel guilty about what you were doing before. Chances are that you were actually doing the best job you could and had started doing what you were doing because it met the needs of bub at the time. I’m not going to be so asinine as to say don’t feel guilty. But embrace the guilt and take a positive message from it. You really care about doing what is best for your kid, and you didn’t want them to not be getting the best deal for even a minute.

I really had to tell myself this message when we recently night weaned Monster. All of a sudden his wind was better and he stopped having super loose stools, turned out that all the feeds overnight were giving him lactose overload. And I suddenly felt soooo much better too, and became a much more patient person. So the guilt kicked in, I had been doing the wrong thing by co-sleeping and feeding overnight. But wait, when we started it was because he was waking in his cot overnight (from hunger as he was only almost 6 months old, and missing me as I had gone back to work), and I was turning into a zombie. It was the right thing at the time, and probably saved me from having a car accident from a microsleep. Thinking about it, I was feeling guilty because I wanted the best for him.

I also wonder if it is this guilt is the root of the ‘bad habit’ language. We naturally regret doing anything that we subsequently perceive as having been the wrong thing, and so what we were doing becomes a bad thing we started. See the positive. You’re doing the best for your child now, with the most up to date info at your disposal, just like you have been all along. Don’t feel guilty, feel glad you have a child whose needs are changing as they grow up into wonderful individual human beings.