We could probably come up with about two hundred things to not feel guilty about, but then we would just feel guilty about never feeling guilty at all. This list will give you the general idea of what kinds of not-exactly-maternal feelings are within limits, and what childcare chores you can cheat on now and then.
1. Wanting to stay home with your baby.
2. Loving your job.
3. Hating your husband now and then.
4. Still not wanting sex way, way, way after your six-week checkup.
5. Not reading to your baby as much as all the experts say you should.
6. Introducing a bottle as soon as you get home from the hospital (even though you’re not sure your milk supply is established yet) so you can get some sleep.
7. Supplementing with formula at any time.
8. Lying to the other women in your mommy group about how long your baby sleeps at night (but you will get more sympathy if you tell the truth).
9. Not keeping up with all the milestones you’re supposed to be recording in your baby book.
10. Never even starting the baby book.
11. Saying, “Great idea—I’ll try it!” to your mother-in-law’s advice when you have absolutely no intention of giving it an iota of thought once she walks out the door.
12. Telling your partner you’re going to the doctor for a checkup when you’re actually going for a massage, pedicure, or to have your hair highlighted (it’s not like he’s going to notice anyway).
13. Paying cash for your massage/pedicure/highlights so he won’t discover the credit card charge.
14. Refusing another mom’s invitation to a playdate because you can’t stand it that she can leave crystal on her coffee table and toilet paper on the rollers and her baby doesn’t bother any of it.
15. Feeling a twinge of delight when the above mom’s baby still isn’t saying any words and yours has a vocabulary of six!
16. Putting on the Baby Einstein DVD for the third time before lunch so you can apply some makeup because that cute landscaping guy is due to come by and cut your grass sometime this afternoon (just because you don’t want to have sex doesn’t mean you’re dead).
17. Wanting to spend Mother’s Day alone instead of with your family.
18. Going to visit your parents for the weekend because you know they will insist on doing everything for the baby and your mother will cook all your favorite foods for you. (Grandmothers can spoil their own children as well as their grandchildren.)
19. Napping when the baby naps even though he’s nine months old.
20. Driving your baby home from the mall with poop in his diaper because the bathroom is all the way at the other end and you know he couldn’t care less anyway.
This is an excerpt from THE BABYTALK INSIDER’S GUIDE TO YOUR BABY’S FIRST YEAR by the Editors of Babytalk Magazine. Copyright © 2008 by The Parenting Group, Inc. Published by Grand Central Publishing, New York, NY. All rights reserved.