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Guilt 29 January, 2009

Posted by monopod in Ethan.

As usual, too much time has gone by since I first wanted to post something about starting the weaning process with Ethan. What I wanted to write about was weaning, but more broadly guilt.

I hadn’t a clue how to really begin weaning. I didn’t know why I was getting so stressed out about introducing solids either, apart from recognising that I am the sort of person who likes step-by-step plans and purpose-built containers for every purpose, which also explains why I like assembling flat-packed furniture, buying storage solutions, making lists, and constructing figurative boxes to put things into. Oh, and also getting things ‘correct’, which is easy to evaluate when following aforementioned step-by-step plans.

Unfortunately, one of the most important lessons I have learnt since becoming a mother is that no matter how many theories you have and how many books you have read, the one thing you cannot do is fit your baby into a box. And that there is no single ‘right’ answer when it comes to parenting, which can be a blooming pain, but there you have it. And that no one is going to give you a weaning timetable and plan and hold your hand in the unchartered territory of Him’s kitchen.

Which is why we started with baby-led weaning (BLW) in November when Ethan turned 6 months, because it seemed like a more natural process and easier to get my head around. Unfortunately, a couple of water-testing weeks afterward, we went on holiday to visit family, and spent half of the first week of our holiday in hospital with Ethan connected to a drip. So I suppose it was quite understandable that the weaning plans went on hold for a bit.

Fast forward a month from our return home, and my little chap is eating his solids like a champ and telling me in no uncertain terms to shovel the food in a little faster. He’s thoroughly enjoying himself.

But I’m not. Because I’m feeling guilt at not having got my act together to be the domestic goddess he deserves, with the result that neither have any lovely home-made purees passed his lips, nor have we persevered properly with BLW, so we are now neither here nor there and the unfortunate child has instead been having meals made by someone else’s loving hand (albeit loving hand wielding yummy organic goodies, though that’s just me trying to make myself feel better). I have two little cookbooks to choose scrummy things from to cook for him, and supermarkets and an organic box delivery scheme at my disposal. There is a food processor in the kitchen and little freezer/microwave safe boxes to store meals in. So why am I not getting off my bum to do something with them? I think I may well have a kitchen phobia.

To add to the guilt, I have to go back to work in three weeks and I am not ready to leave him at nursery. That, however, is a whole other blog post which I have neither time nor energy for at the moment. Good night.



1. bouncybaby - 30 January, 2009

I know that there is absolutely nothing I can say to make you feel better. You know you’re doing absolutely fine, and you also know that you’re doing nothing wrong. Yet I also know that this is completely irrelevant to the feelings of guilt.

I jar-fed my kids and I don’t think I did anything wrong, yet I will always wonder if I should have made the time. It’s too late now.

It comes down to this: I would rather use perfectly healthy jars and spend more time playing with the kids than cooking while they entertain each other.

You are 100% normal, honey.

2. monopod - 30 January, 2009

Thanks G ((hug))

Not that I am trying to imply that mums who feed their children from jars and do anything other than what ‘good mothers’ should are bad mothers. Same goes with formula vs. breastfeeding. I am determined not to have to give him formula and am going to pump for all I am worth to make sure it stays that way for as long as he needs one or two bottles during the day. Which makes it sound like formula is evil in my eyes. It isn’t. But I don’t want to give him any less. So we still end up at the same place, don’t we – feeling like anything other than everything is bad.

3. bouncybaby - 30 January, 2009

Too true. What’s right for one isn’t right for all, there’s no such thing as ‘one size fits all’. I felt exactly the same about breastfeeding, yet when Alyssum started nursery I decided to go the formula route for daytime, although I’ll feed her myself mornings, evenings and weekends. If I were to express I’d spend too much time doing it that could be spent with the kids, and I don’t fancy doing it in work. And now Alyssum is weaned she has mostly what we eat anyway, with jars at the ready for emergency situations. I don’t think we’re doing too badly.

It’s all dependent on circumstance and personal choice. ‘Nuff said.

4. bouncybaby - 31 January, 2009

The forum I use has recently (in the last few weeks) started up a section on bably led weaning. As it’s new it’s fairly active at the moment with lots of new info being added by the members. If you think it may be useful for you and you want access to it let me know and I’ll apply for membership for you.


5. monopod - 2 February, 2009

Thanks G, I will let you know if I do want to 🙂

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