Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Assimilating the Guilt

Guilt. It’s a really interesting emotion. Jewish guilt has provided hours of fodder for comedians, and paychecks for therapists and rabbis. Jewish guilt especially has an unusual way of creeping into the daily life of parents. But until you have a child with a special need you have no idea how all consuming guilt could be. You continual second question everything you did during pregnancy and beyond. 

What did you eat? Did you take enough prenatal vitamins? Why did you have to take that Tylenol and could you have done without that antibiotic for your bronchitis? Did you avoid enough caffeine? And why oh why did you listen to your doctor and allow yourself that one glass of wine a week?  Was it the pregnancy yoga or Pilates that caused the glitch in your child’s development? Should you have just walked instead? Or should you have biked more, ran longer or tried the latest exercise fad? Should you not have had that epidural, or should you have had that epidural? Should you have used a midwife instead of a doctor? Have a home birth instead of a hospital? Should you have breast fed longer, not breast fed so long, used a different formula or had a better feeding schedule? Should you have used a different brand of baby food, not been so lazy and made your own, or maybe you shouldn’t have listened to your grandmother about when to start the baby on solid food? Was your child’s disability really caused by the fact that you live in a city, or that you waited until you were in your thirties to get pregnant?