Channel Mum Chat

Mom Guilt and Shame Help

Hello! So I’m a first time Mom and I have recently been trying to get more comfortable with taking my baby out in public by myself (instead of with my husband). She’s 8 1/2 months now and because of the pandemic, I never used to want to take her out to stores in general just because of my anxiety but then the worry of covid on top of it just made me avoid it completely. The covid numbers in my area have gone down, I’m vaccinated and my area has a high percent of vaccination, so I’ve been feeling easier about it. I decide to go to a thrift store but didn’t realize until we got in that it was a rummage outlet type of store. Well I didn’t want to just walk out so we gave it a shot. I bring baby antibacterial hand wipes and wipes for the cart, plus a toy for her to play with. Well when we first got in, it was going well. We get to one aisle where I have her in the cart to the right of me as I look through the clothes and so I didn’t block other people. I can see her in my peripheral and think she’s chewing on her toy so I just continue to look through the clothes to hurry up. I notice a guy slowly walk past her and look at her. A few seconds later I come over to her to go to the next aisle and notice she got into the hand wipes and was playing with them and trying to put them in her mouth. I give her the toy instead and put the wipes away but immediately felt so guilty and embarrassed. I already felt bad because no one else there had a kid and I felt like I was wrong for even bringing her there. Then I felt like people were looking at her with the wipes and thinking I was a bad parent who doesn’t pay attention to her baby. I just felt this instant wave of worry and guilt and so I decided to check out and leave right then. I wanted to cry when I got in the car with her and felt like I never should of brought her there. I worried the guy took a pic of her with the wipes to post about me being a bad mom. I just got so many negative thoughts that ran through my head and just made me feel so much shame because I really do try to be a good and responsible parent but I feel like it was such a fail on my part and that I looked super careless to everyone in the store. Ugh. Am I a total moron? How do I get past this feeling that I made such a huge mistake? How do I stop feeling so worried about it? Any advice would help, thank you!

Oh it’s ok!!! I think this pandemic has most people (especially new mommas!) uneasy a bit! I think it’s great that you took your baby out and you got to share an outing together! Don’t worry what others think. Their opinion is just that, their opinion. We have enough to worry about besides what others think of us. We all know no baby should be chewing on a disinfectant wipe, but it wasn’t like you were feeding it to your baby! Things happen! Take it easy on yourself! My 10 month old baby shoves stuff in his mouth all the time! We’re teaching him what should be put in mouths and what shouldn’t! That’s all we can do. Promote good behaviors. :slightly_smiling_face: They’re learning too! It’s all good! Don’t worry too much! :yellow_heart:

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:hugs: Nobody can keep their eyes completely on their kids all the time, regardless of what they say. You’d literally have to have 10 eyes.

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I think most people who have a child or ever had a chance to take care of a child know how hard it is. It is impossible to be paying attention 100% of the time. It sounds like you’re doing an excellent job and also went to the shop well prepared.

I really don’t think anyone thinks you’re a bad mum and I wouldn’t be surprised if the guy was just simply wondering whether he should let you know that your baby took the wipes.

I hope this situation isn’t going to dissuade you from going public places with the baby. There are going to be some awkward situations sometimes but I really think most people understand.

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Thank you all so much!! It’s so hard because I just worry about people only seeing the mistakes and then assuming the worst. I just hope I’m doing the right things but it’s my first time and I’m learning. I don’t want to be misjudged because I really try my hardest to be the best mom to her and I care so much. With social media and seeing posts that people make kind of attacking moms at time, it’s super scary and overwhelming imagining it happening to yourself. It’s just nice to hear from other moms because a lot of times the judgement comes from people who aren’t even parents. Thank you for your reassurance and support :slight_smile: it means so much!!

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Hi @maryxelizabeth

Bless you and I agree with all the replies you have had. My name is Maggie and I am the Channelmum HV.

We can’t know what other people are thinking and that is their business not ours. It is best to ignore as you can drive yourself crazy trying to second guess others. All that matters is YOU and and YOUR baby. You are doing the best you can and that is good enough - others are not in a position to judge you -so ignore them.

You say

Is this something you feel you would like a bit more help and support with? Are you in the UK? If you are this is something you could talk to your HV about as we can support mums who feel like this and can also link them in with other mums who might be feeling like this.

We have been through some very worrying times however babies are at very low risk of contracting or becoming ill from Coronavirus.

Maggie

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I’m not in the UK but that sounds like an awesome idea. Thank you for your support!!

HI @maryxelizabeth

Happy to help what family and friends have you got around you to support you? Are there any local groups you can go to?

Maggie xx