So far, by God's grace

Monday, April 19, 2010

Guilt, Regret & Healing

Writing this post has been difficult. This post had to come up sometime, because I knew it had to. It was hard, because I wasn't sure how I really felt about the things I'm going to be writing about.

I am a normal human being, with normal emotions (OK. maybe a little heightened emotions, but I'm sure there are others like me)

And I have regrets. Some HUGE ones, some not so significant, still they make me go "Cha! If only!"

I'd like to think I am someone who doesn't care what others think of me, but I've come to realise that I do, and that it actually governs what I say and do much more than it should, and much more than I'd like it to.

Here are my biggest two.

Regret No 1:

I am a working mother. All through my childhood, I thought I'd be able to manage being a mom and a teacher. How hard could it be? Then I grew up and everyone around me was telling me the best thin I could do for my child was to stay at home and spend every minute with my daughter. I believed them. But circumstances dictated that I had to be a working mom. My best friend and all the other moms from my church are Stay at home moms (SAHM). Though none of them ever said an unkind word to me, I felt like I was shortchanging my daughter. regrets, guilt, regrets.

Regret No 2:

Might seem strange, but I always was a supporter of breastfeeding. Even as a teenager. I knew and believed it was the best thing that I could feed my child with. I never thought it would be a problem for me. But it was. right from day one. It was painful and my little girl just didn't take to it. I bore the pain amid well wishing aunts and other women intruding upon my privacy, trying to "teach" me the right way to nurse. In time the pain went away. But I couldn't nurse beyond five and a half months. People around me said "If you really want it to work, it will". I really wanted it to work. I believed bottle feeding was bad. I took natural medication to help. But it just didn't work for me. Eventually I switched my baby over to formula and bottles. Big regret. Felt terribly guilty. Made me cry each time I thought of it.

In my effort to be known as a "good christian girl", I have been doing just what Jesus doesn't want us to - look to others for appreciation. I am just realising that I do so many things, even like dragging myself and my sometimes reluctant husband to church, just because I want people to see that I'm going to church. I wanted to be a SAHM because I'd fit in with my christian friends, and because people I cared about thought it was the right thing to do. I found it hard to reconcile with bottle feeding because I was brought up to think it was wrong.

What a farce!

I am in the process of dealing with these regrets though. And as I begin to give up these guilty feelings and regrets I have into god's hands, I am beginning to see the lightness his healing brings. Once again, I am in the process of finding my healing in God. Every now and then I pull back and want to lick my own wounds. But I am learning. And I think I am finally moving in the right direction. Soon there'll be no more wounds to like. I'll be healed.

And I just wanted you to know!


  1. Don't regret anything, Deepa. Will write to you.

  2. Hi...
    I had to leave a message after reading your post.
    I grew up believing that breast milk was the absolute best thing for a baby. when i was pregnant, lots of women told me to breast feed and I responded with, "huh? ofcourse. I wouldn't settle for anything less." Sadly, enough when my baby was born, I had very little milk. With a vengeance, I spent days trying. I was told that if i continued trying, the milk would eventually start flowing. I heard tales of how some women had fountains of milk. I had none of that. I took supplements, drank liquids before each feed, ate dry fruit laddoos (my mother-in-law's suggestion)...and everytime the baby slept, i spent that time with a breast pump. I sucked out every last drop I had, so he'd have the absolute best.
    My poor baby was so hungry..he never slept. We spent days and nights holding on to eachother. He sucked furiously and it didn't satisfy his hunger. His weight began dropping and finally the doctor gave me a talking. She said in the ideal world, we all want to do things a certain way and we try. I had tried and now it was time to shift to formula. I did with a lot of regrets. But then, my baby began sleeping and his weight began picking up. He wasn't even urinating at one point because he wasn't getting enough. Now if i have another baby, i'll never put that baby through all that my son had to endure.
    I'm glad I shifted to formula. He is a happy, healthy two-yr-old today. I make sure he eats healthy and i'm there for him.
    Don't ever feel guilty abt working. Lots of SAHM don't have time for their kids. They gossip, watch TV, and do their own thing. It's quality time that matters.
    You're a great mom and a great teacher. Enjoy it:)

  3. I found your blog insightful and i'm really glad that you're turning to God to heal the regrets and hurts
    (true healing only happens with him). Your post just reconfirms that its our heart and our heart motives that God truly cares about!like you mentioned anything( even good things) done with the wrong motive will bear no fruit and its certainly not pleasing in God's sight. All of us fall into the 'people- pleasing' trap to some extent or the other even if we don't care to admit it :)

    And while we certainly don't live in an ideal world we should be cautious that we don't become cynical christians. Breastfeeding, spending time with your child, being regular, belonging to a church as a family,regular quiet times are all good things and all these things do please God when and if they are done with the right heart.What i'm trying to say is that ever so often it is our motives that need changing...and that our motives needing to be reevaluated does not always mean that what we're aspiring to attain is 'bad or not right for us'! so we constantly need to seek God's face to understand what he wants us to do and then with his help keep a check on our heart condition while we walk with him!
    You are an awesome mom..just the fact that spending time with your child is even something you're talking and thinking about shows it! I pray that you will be rooted in Jesus and find his assurances enough for your daily needs!

  4. Please, please don't feel bad. Some things are not in our hands, and despite our best efforts, we cannot make them the way we wish them to be. What matters more is that you tried your best.

  5. many many years later, when your daughter is all grown up, you will be so glad she was breastfed only until 5+ months.. then ill tell ya why...!

  6. I want to encourage you to listen to my husbands sermon over here: - go to the media and its the 1st sermon listed called "Faithful Mother"
    Its a hard sermon and may push some buttons but I believe it 100%.

    As for nursing.. dont feel guilty... I wrote this when I quit nursing and you will see it was so extremely hard to.. I like you cried any time id even fix a bottle!

    but when I nursed I just was not producing enough for him.. he would scream for hours!!! it was the hardest 2 weeks of my life... having to see him cry out with such hunger pains and me not be able to satisfy him... to add to that it was the most painful thing... I had him naturally and that was hard... and painful, but nothing compared to the pains of nursing! I just dont see how women can nurse and say it never hurt... because it was excruciating for me lol... I mean WOW! really bad.

    Your little one is totally fine on formula! All 3 of my boys were nursed the 1st few weeks (my 1st two with pumping), but then formula after that.. neither one had any health issues. All 3 are extremely bright and social. Them being on formula did not harm them in any way.

    So please dont feel guilty!! I know its hard not to.. im there 2 and still have those feelings sometimes when I see a friend nurse... but to me... it is better to be able to enjoy our children...

    any who hang in there!