But in that experience, I came to the realization that mothers don’t have that sort of “getting it out and letting it go;” instead they carry this guilt in total isolation. It is no mystery, now, why mothers cling so tightly to other moms in their life and mom groups-- it is the one place that they are able to express these feelings without judgement and in solidarity.
While this exercise was uncomfortable to complete, seeing the final product in its completion ushered in a sense of relief and allowed me to “get it out in the open,” so that I could begin processing these aspects of my life more intentionally.
The process of noting down what I am guilty about is a completely foreign, and, honestly, scary task to take on. Is it even possible to put these nuanced feelings into words? And are these points of guilt constant or are they ever-changing?
Guilty As Charged
EXPLORING THE EFFECTS OF GUILT IN EARLY MOTHERHOOD BY UNCOVERING OUR OWN PERSONAL GUILT.
Guilt is a resounding feeling across all new mothers’. Whether its guilt about not giving their new baby enough or the right kind of care, or guilt that they don’t have an immediate connection with their newborn, it is an emotion that marks a new mother's journey. As one mother said, “there’s just so much guilt and feelings of inadequacy...We’re all beating ourselves up about something, asking ourselves, ‘what’s wrong with me?’” This project explores this element of motherhood by reflecting on how we experience guilt personally on a day-to-day basis.