Mom Guilt and "Mommy Wars"

By Dawn Dais

You hear a lot about "Mommy Wars," the real or imagined wars that exist between moms as they battle it out in the trenches. But I think at the end of the day most of the Mommy Wars are happening inside our own heads.

They are the insecurities and feelings of mom guilt we all carry around because we aren't perfect, and we assume everyone else is. Which is nonsense when you think about it. We are all a mess, we are all doing the best we can. We need to be gentle with ourselves, and with each other.

One of the biggest, and first, sources of mom guilt comes with breastfeeding. We are told it's the most natural thing on the planet, and it can hit our fragile postpartum psyche really hard when it turns out to be really, really hard. In fact, Store Brand Formula conducted a survey and found that the strongest emotions a new mom feels when making the decision to use infant formula are guilt, followed by stress.

I had breastfeeding guilt with my first baby because neither one of us knew what we were doing, and she wasn't getting enough milk from me. We had to supplement with formula starting on day two. You would think I was giving her a cigarette with how I reacted. I had been told that breast was best, and that formula and bottles were awful, and here I was giving her both on day two. I was a mess.

But she was fine. And the baby was fed, which ultimately is the most important thing.

Moms need to do what's best for them and their baby and block out all of this "Mommy War" chatter. The survey also found that one out of 10 new moms lied about breastfeeding baby to avoid criticism from family and friends – that is NOT ok. For some women, breastfeeding isn't an option, and that's okay! But this is why it's so important to do your research before baby comes and not only know your options for feeding, but accept that not everything is going to be perfect and easy.


About Dawn

Dawn Dais is a freelance writer, designer, and filmmaker from Sacramento, CA. Her previous books including The Sh!t No One Tells You, The Sh!t No One Tells You About Toddlers, The Sh!t No One Tells You About Baby #2 and The Nonrunner's Marathon Guide for Women were published by Seal Press, have topped Amazon.com best-seller lists, and have been featured by countless TV and print media sources. Her uniquely sarcastic yet inspiring tone has entertained and guided an enthusiastic core of readers towards their various ridiculous parenting and athletic goals. She lives with her partner and two kids in California. Visit http://www.dawndais.com for more information.

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