Is It Normal to Feel Guilty During Pregnancy?
is it normal to feel guilty during pregnancy? i can only speak for myself (though quite a few other women i have talked to confirm this) but it does seem that often times many women feel guilty about different things while pregnant.
my personal pregnancy guilt manifested intensely during my first trimester. i had a very rough first few months of pregnancy. i expected some nausea, food aversions and crying at the very thought of random commercials but i had not expected the mental exhaustion. this is where the majority of my pregnancy guilt lies.
now that i have moved into the entrepreneurial world, my job consists of using my brain in a different way. the way my husband and i run our communication business is based on our intellectual property aka – our thoughts, ideas, and experiences. for instance, this here blog is a perfect example – i am the one creating 99% of the content, managing it, creating partnerships and authoring content. when i work with my coaching clients, it is my personal expertise when it comes to communication or public speaking for the reason they hire me.
i was completely unprepared for how much pregnancy was going to throw off my rhythm.
to be honest, this blog post has been in the works since the first few days i experienced creating a normal “to accomplish” list and barely getting one thing done. i have been hesitant to post it because i have a somewhat irrational but also rational fear that someone is going to read this and then assume every woman they meet who is pregnant isn’t functioning at her optimum. that is not the case, every woman experiences pregnancy (and um, life) differently. this is my personal experience and hopefully you have not seen the quality of what i write diminished and i know i still add value to my clients. i have had to rework harnessing my energy and also extending compassion to myself, which can be quite hard.
i expressed this to my husband to which he responded “you are growing another human – cut yourself some slack! that is a big part of your job right now” to which i responded tearfully, “but i am so much more than solely a baby-maker!”
we are both right.
he extended the permission to me that i am not always able to give myself. my body is literally going through insane and amazing changes to create a whole new set of lungs, eyeballs, elbows and a tiny heart (amongst a million other things). of course that is going to have some physical and mental effect on my energy and stamina.
i am also right that i am more than solely a baby-maker. i am a woman capable of continuing to run a business, write, contribute to society and eat a pint of ben and jerry’s new dairy-free ice cream in a day (the PB & cookie one is a game changer). though some days it feels like my body is not my own and this baby is taking all of my energy, i remind myself that it’s a new identity i get to add to who i am – not one that replaces anything else.
i write this with the intent that if you are pregnant or someday may be pregnant, please know you are not alone in feeling this. i hereby grant you permission (should you need it) to change the way you do your daily routine or to take a nap or to binge watch netflix for a day if that is what you need.
i have discovered that when i get bursts of energy and mental clarity – i must harness it (i.e. not watching netflix) and sometimes that means putting in 13 hour days. it ebbs and flows, much like the energy of people who are not currently gestating, so make the most of your moments and your days!