Our daughter was five years old and having her kindergarten physical, when I requested a flu shot for her. The pediatrician looked at me somewhat condescendingly and informed me my daughter most likely wouldn’t catch it and if she did, it would be a mild case that would build up her immunity. In my gut, I knew he was wrong, but was intimidated enough to obey him. Guess whose child got a horrible case of the flu with after effects that went on for weeks? (Guess whose child has had a flu shot every year since!)
Guilt seems to be a natural part of mothering. We read an article and second guess our selves. Little old ladies are constantly telling us to put the socks and shoes back on our babies before something horrid happens. (Not that I’m bitter or anything, but you try keeping shoes on a baby!) And then there are those times when we really do make mistakes – some of them even rather serious at times.
Guilt can freeze you as a mother. You become afraid to make decisions for fear of making a mistake and suffering more guilt. If your struggle with guilt is severe enough, it can paralyze you to the extent you are incapable of parenting at all.