I'm sure at some point in your motherhood journey something has happened or someone has made a statement which caused you to feel this thing called MOM GUILT.
It's no secret that due to Jaxson's prematurity I made the decision to stay home and take care of him while also pursuing my entrepreneurial goals. This hasn't been an easy feat but it's a decision that both my husband and I made for the best interest of our family. Often times it's hard to find the balance needed to do everything and do it well. but I am blessed to take on these roles. Also, so very thankful for God's grace.
Today we had Jaxson's 18 month well baby check up. He is thriving in growth and is doing well overall. We couldn't be more grateful for his good health. He is in the 25th percentile for growth (for his uncorrected age) and in the 75th percentile for his actual age! At 18 months old (actual) and 14 months (adjusted) he weighs, 22lb 4oz and is 31 1/2 inches long!!! That's amazing being that he was born weighing tiny 1ln 2.9oz 11 inches long. I would like to think that he is thriving due to the fact that God's hand is on his life and because his health has been put first as a priority for our family. We also believe that by me staying home with over the last 14 months has truly been beneficial for his growth and development.
Well, according to his Doctor, he thinks I may be hindering Jaxson from meeting certain milestones. At 18 months Jaxson is still drinking from a bottle and wakes up in the middle of the night (wee hours of the morning). While he didn't outright tell me I'm hindering him he did say that because I stay home with him "I'm more lenient with structure and don't have a set schedule". I guess he thinks work from home moms just sit around and twiddle their fingers all day? Nope! While everyday may not look the exact same, we do have structure. Jaxson naps around the same time everyday, has an eating schedule and goes to bed around the same time everyday as well. He said he wasn't trying to make me feel guilty but here's the thing, he kinda did. While I know he should be completely weaned from his bottles, its been a struggle. We have tried so many sippy cups and Jaxson is a little reluctant to them. He will drink out of it sometimes but he more so ends up playing with it and dumping the juice or milk out.
I will admit, its been a little hard to be as consistent as I should be with getting Jaxson off of bottles. So his Dr. saying this was just another kick in the butt like "hey lady be consistent and get Jaxson to drink from a cup or his teeth with rot!" I look at this particular thing as a delay of a milestone but I am still so so SO very proud of Jaxson and all that he is accomplishing. In his Pediatricians eyes we have a lot of bad habits to break. Ok, yes we have some things to work on but I felt he shamed us a bit:
- No more bottles
- No more milk at bedtime unless we are willing to brush his teeth immediately after
- If he wakes up soothe him and don't "reward" with milk or bring him into the bed with my husband and I.
- Sleep Train aka let him cry it out.
I left the appointment feeling slightly defeated especially after Jaxson received 2 vaccines and wasn't too happy about it. Old feelings began to rise up within me- I felt a great deal of guilt after giving birth prematurely. For months I felt like my body failed me and it was my fault that Jaxson had to endure a 119 day NICU stay. It took a while to cut through those feelings and realize that giving birth to a micro preemie was God's plan and there wasn't anything I or anyone else could've done differently. As parents we are all doing our best. Could I do more? Maybe! But am I doing MY best, I believe I am. I am doing my best for Jaxson, we want what's best for him nothing less.
So, although it was a tough morning I pulled myself together and thought about how to approach the steps that need to be taken moving forward. I also had to remind myself that Jaxson is happy and healthy. We have managed to keep him out of the hospital since he came home in November 2015. He can walk/run, communicate verbally, eat, drink pee and poop, no medications, no oxygen AND he is a smart, funny and joyful little boy. That's a huge accomplishment.
Remember, the statistics that were given in regards to his development were stark. But God! He is thriving daily and thinking on the good things is what helped me get over the mom guilt today. If no one has told you today, YOU ARE A GOOD MOM and you are exactly the mom that your child needs.