It started on the baby powder aisle of Target. My husband and I were working on our registry and wondering about how many sets of bottles we needed to put on our list when we encountered that couple. Each time the future father picked up a hygiene product, the future mother told him what was bad about that product—how it would hurt their baby and what alternative they needed to get instead. At first, I was a little bit amused by it; the poor guy was just trying to help after all! But, after a couple of minutes of observing this process, I started to worry about some of the things she was talking about. Enter my first taste of mom guilt. What was that baby powder going to do to my precious Charlotte? Why haven’t I researched this? How could I not know about these things??
Oh, the mom guilt. I’d never even thought about looking at the ingredients in baby powder, baby shampoo—baby anything! My health habits during this pregnancy have been less than stellar anyway (sorry about the future ice cream and chocolate milk addictions, Char), and my main concern after she’s born will be keeping her alive—not whether this chemical is present in this thing and what said chemical could potentially do to her. Am I a bad (almost) mom because I want her to have a crying Santa picture, and because I think that posing her on our dog’s back would be hilarious? Will she be scarred for life if I don’t hand make organic baby food with the right blend of macro and micronutrients, or if I have to (GASP!) knows that her parents love her that flows bountifully from my body?!
I guarantee that my mom—who was extremely young when she had me—never worried about any of this, and I feel like I’m a reasonably well-adjusted, capable, functional adult. I’m sure that I’ll question just about every decision I make once she’s born, but I refuse to feel guilty about anything—because that’s going to rob me of all of the good moments that we will have. She’s going to get the best of me sometimes and the worst of me at other times, but I think that as long as she knows that her parents love her and will do anything to keep her safe? That’s all that matters. Oh, and maybe I will do just a teeny bit of research on baby powder ingredients . . . you know, just for curiosity’s sake . . .