Bad Mother Bulletin: Volume 1

15 Aug

In truth I could have started detailing the 1001 mistakes I make every day that might give me the bad mother label from the moment my dear Lyra was born. Motherhood today is ruled by a drive for perfection. Parents are told that they are responsible for how their children turn out. Eating the wrong food during pregnancy, using the wrong baby soap, not being responsive enough (and so on, and so on)… a mistake in any area seems to be difference between your child growing up healthy and happy versus miserable and in therapy. I never imagined what this pressure to “get it right” would feel like. In honor of that, here’s a list of all the things I’ve done wrong recently (in no particular order).

  • Went on a full day outing and only bought enough formula for one feeding. I didn’t choose to breastfeed in public, and I didn’t pump before I left home.
  • Followed The Experts’ advice and bathed Lyra only a few times a week (see the following):
    • Baby developed mild cradle cap due to excess oils building on the skin. Expert advice? Wash hair every day with mild soap and scrub scalp with brush. Notice how that conflicts with the bathe once or twice a week advice?
    • Rubbed baby’s scalp with baby oil to help eliminate cradle cap. Baby oil is practically considered poison by The Experts. Funny how it is also recommended by The Experts as a cure. (It should be noted that I ignored my mother’s advice to use baby oil as a cradle cap preventitive, due to the deadly warnings from The Experts.)
    • Noticed redness and slight odor coming from baby’s sweet little neck wrinkles. Research reveals it is most likely Prickly Heat, a kind of mild infection caused by trapped moisture. The cure? Bathe more often and keep area dry.
    • How dry? I discovered that baby powder works great. Too bad The Experts say it’s dangerous and I shouldn’t have it in the house.
  • I admitted out loud that I’m only breastfeeding because I feel guilty too stop, not because I love it.
  • I let my daughter sleep on a pillow, on my bed, and not on her back. For six hours.
  • I went on a date with my husband and frequently forgot there was a baby at home waiting for us.
  • I still haven’t found a cure for my baby’s gas or constipation.
  • I’m taking on a freelance project and I’m worried about caring for my daughter and working at the same time.
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