Vanessa Lachey on social media mom guilt: ‘Don’t feel like you’re not doing enough’

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Vanessa Lachey (nee Minnillo) covers American Baby. She’s currently expecting her second child, a daughter, with her husband of three years, Nick Lachey. Nick and Vanessa also have a two year-old son, Camden. I believe Vanessa is about seven months along, going by the fact that she announced in July.

The last we heard from Nick and Vanessa, Nick was blabbing about pregnancy sex. (He was doing an interview with Jenny McCarthy, so it figures.) Vanessa kept it more wholesome in American Baby, where she discussed trying to be patient with her baby and not feeling mom guilt over not doing enough. I really like what she said about how it’s hard to be a mom and how moms deserve credit just for “just for raising a little human being.

Vanessa — who has been opened about her battle with the baby blues — admits she was forced to take things slow as she settled into motherhood. [with Camden, who was born in September, 2012]

“Remember to be patient. It’s hard! As a baby, Camden would take about an hour to breastfeed. By the time he finished, it was almost time to feed again,” she recalls.

Instead of becoming frustrated, Vanessa used those quiet moments to soak up time with her newborn.

“A friend reminded me that infants are learning everything for the first time,” she explains. “So who am I to say, ‘Hurry up and eat. We have to go?’ I tried to look at that time as an opportunity to love on him.”

Now that she’s set to welcome her second child just after the holidays, Vanessa is more confident in her parenting role and wants other mamas to embrace the exciting moment in their lives.

“Worrying is a waste of time. Once Camden was born, certain fears calmed down,” she says. “I no longer thought, ‘Will I be able to do this?’ My instincts really did kick in.”

She adds, “We stumble and make mistakes, too, but that’s what learning is. That’s the beauty of it. Every mother out there knows what she’s doing, whether she believes it yet or not.”

Oh, and one more thing, she adds: Don’t let fellow mothers and their “best moments” on social media put a damper on your day.

“Don’t feel like you’re not doing enough when you see a mom posting about making applesauce after you bought it,” she says with a laugh. “It’s fine! Just for raising a little human being you should be commended.”

[From People]

It’s true that the bragging on Facebook can get out of hand. I don’t keep up with Facebook now, but back when I would add acquaintances (I stopped doing that, I don’t even add RL friends now), I would occasionally get annoyed with all the “look what I just made,” “check out my bikini pics” posts. (Not from my close friends or our loyal readers, you’re all awesome.) There was a definite element of competition to those type of posts and I don’t play that game. So I can imagine how much pressure moms must feel. We’re not all crafty DIY moms, it’s important to just be there for your baby/child. I like that message.

Vanessa also talked about how she didn’t feel bonded to her baby during her first pregnancy until she found out she was having a boy. She said “I felt guilty because everyone told me about this love I’d feel, and I wasn’t there yet.” Then, after she learned the sex of the baby, “the love really flowed… I could finally bond.” I’ll be honest, I didn’t feel bonded to my baby even after he was born. It took me a few days because I was exhausted, I think. It would never occur to me to feel guilty about not bonding with the baby when I was pregnant.

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photo credit: Justin Coit for American Baby

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31 Responses to “Vanessa Lachey on social media mom guilt: ‘Don’t feel like you’re not doing enough’”

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  1. aims says:

    I didn’t feel bonded with my first child in the beginning either. It took a few days, and I felt guilty. I also had very little sleep and didn’t fully understand what my body was going through. The hormonal changes, the breastfeeding, all of it. Of course that changes and you eventually find your daily routine. I also had serious post pardum as well.

    I am so glad we’re past that stage now, lol. It does get better and there is light at the tunnel. I will now shut my mouth, I don’t want to scare anyone from having children.

    Really, it’s hard, but worth it. It does get better I promise

    • M says:

      So true! For a week after my 1st was born I felt like I was caring for my husband’s baby & couldn’t wrap my brain around the fact that he was my baby too. It’s earth shattering. It is the hardest & the most rewarding all at once! Mom’s shouldn’t feel like venting about the hard parts take away from the gratitude we have or make us any less of caring mom.

  2. Carrie says:

    Did anyone read Peoples article about this interview? The comments were so rude i couldn’t believe it, like how stupid it was to say you did or didn’t ‘bond with your bump’, or that Jessica Simpson probably wouldn’t agree. A lot of moms, myself included don’t feel bonded to the child right away, or even while they’re pregnant. I’m sure it happens for some people but I get a little annoyed at people who are like ‘I felt so bonded/in love right away!’ Like the second the test came back positive. Im five months pregnant and don’t know the sex yet, and much like her I don’t feel very bonded yet because my baby is still this abstract being that I haven’t seen or felt yet. Sure I have a belly but that’s all it is at this point. That’s not to say I don’t care or don’t love my baby but I just don’t feel that connection yet.

    Besides all that, how rude is it for people to throw her husbands ex in her face just because she was unlucky enough to carry very large?

    • Erinn says:

      That’s so upsetting. That’s something I really worry about if we end up having kids. I’ve had some struggles with depression, and I worry that I’m not going to be super lovey-dovey feeling while pregnant, or that I’ll have issues bonding once the baby is born. And I feel like, I’d kind of want to not let on about any of those things because people can be so cruel, and competitive.

      When it comes to babies, the cattiness really comes out in people. At the end of the day, all that should matter is that you’re doing your best, your baby is healthy, or being given the health care it needs. People get so judgmental, and so angry about other people’s pregnancies, or child raising when it’s just so petty.

      • Carrie says:

        The competition among moms is ridiculous. I see it on Facebook all the time, among women I’ve known for years and its absolutely disgusting. The stay at home moms vs working moms, moms who are against vaccines vs the ones that aren’t, ones that feed their kids ______ vs _______, breastfeeding vs non, and the shame they put on women who don’t (with absolutely no thought to the fact that some women just straight up can’t). It’s no wonder kids are growing up nastier and nastier, look at what we’re giving them as role models!

      • JenniferJustice says:

        I hear you. I thought competitiveness was bad in highschool and college. Holy crap! Nothing prepared me for the competitiveness people throw at you regarding being a mother or parenting or their kids. It became an onslought of one-upping on every topic re pregnancy and kids. I had a hissy fit or two and then stayed away for a good long while. It’s better now and people have stopped feeling the need to prove themselves or their kids better. I’m over it, but still shocked it got like that. That’s when I came up with my fantasy Saturday Night Live character – Ima Better. I want that character patented. I’m telling you, she’d not only sell, she’d be the star skit!

      • Prim says:

        Your self awareness will help you enormously.

    • M says:

      When I was pregnant I didn’t feel connected to my baby while I barfed in the toilet four times a day, slept 14 hours a night & felt like a crazy woman! There should be no guilt & no “you should feel……” It took me a couple weeks after birth to feel connected to my baby. He’s now 8 & I’ve never felt more connected to another being in all my life. It’s like the saying “if you brag about your sex life then you must have a bad one”. If you constantly need to one up other moms then you feel the need to prove your mommy hood & something is lacking in you. It’s the hardest job in the world- let’s support each other (whether you make your own organic food from scratch or buy Gerber).

    • Serenity says:

      I’m so glad I read the comments on this site. It’s always eye opening and in so many cases, very heartening to know that there are other women out there who are going through similar situations.

      I actually don’t want children, something I’ve known since I’ve been a teenager. I love my nephew but I don’t want kids of my own, I’m fine being a member of the Doting Aunts Society. But my fiance wants kids and so after much soul-searching on my part, we’ve decided to have a child (or two!) after marriage.

      And so now, sometimes I lie awake at night and worry worry worry. What if I hate being pregnant? What if I don’t love my child when it’s born, what if I don’t bond? I worry about things like what if I get pregnant and my child dies before birth because I didn’t want it enough? Like some sort of punishment from God….

      • Ange says:

        oh honey, I would be soooo careful with this. Remember once you have that child it’s yours forever and if things don’t work out with your fiancé it will be yours alone for 99% of the time. If you’re worrying about it this much now I think some more soul searching is required. Remember, if this guy is the guy for you then YOU should be enough for him.

  3. Birdix says:

    “Every mother out there knows what she’s doing, whether she believes it yet or not.” Can we exempt June from this?

  4. GreenBunny says:

    When my first child was born, there were a lot of complications (not life threatening, but serious). I didn’t even get to hold her until she was almost an hour old. and even then, I only got to hold her for a couple of minutes before they had to take her to the NICU. I remember having this feeling of being overwhelmed and this guilt because I should want to be with my baby and not give her up and this desire to just get her to the NICU and do what they needed to do so that I could have her back and not have to give her up again. And even then, it took a while for me to really feel connected to her. I was terrified with the birth of my second child just because of all that happened. But that one was complication free and I got to hold him within a minute of being born, and for me, that made a huge difference in my bonding.

  5. QQ says:

    Ahh gotta hand it to you moms

    Between the Mommy Flame wars, the braggarts, the Insta-skinny MILFs and the fact no one is allowed to acknowledge all pregnancies /motherhood experiences arent walks in the park rosy colored love boats and can be in fact difficult/unfun/ unsexy/uncomfortable I don’t know how ya’ll do it and THEN you get to have no sleep, a drooler that needs you always and not even a thanks for your troubles

    God Bless ya’ll ( couldn’t and won’t do it but srly Tip of the hat!)

    • Carrie says:

      My favorite are people like me who were stepmoms first, before having their own. The whole bio mom vs stepmom debate and whether we can truly love the child the same and whether having our own will diminish the love we have for our stepkids. As far as I”m concerned, I love my stepson the same as I would if he were mine, and once his brother or sister is here I know beyond a doubt that I will not feel any different about either of them, or love ‘my’ child more. I may not have given birth to him but I still take care of him, feed him, change his diapers, play with him. He’s not ‘mine’ biologically and I would never try to take his moms place or cheapen her role but that doesn’t mean I can’t love him like he is.

    • M says:

      Thank you QQ! We should give each other a break & be honest rather then trying to push an untrue “reality tv” persona that people put in Facebook. The truth: breast feeding is bonding but hurts like a b$&#h when starting, no one likes wiping another person’s poopy butt & not being able to simply pee in privacy sucks! I see that great four course meal that my fellow moms prepared & posted on FB but I also know that behind the scenes involved bribery at the grocery store, screaming while trying to get the kid buckled to go home, two interruptions while mashing the potatoes to wipe a snotty nose & clean up the cat’s puke and then realizing after man handling the steak that you never washed your hands! It’s a charmed life, or so my FB says ;)

    • wiffie says:

      QQ thank you. You totally nailed it. It is hard when you feel like everyone is watching and judging, all the while you’re just. So. Tired. Nobody acknowledges what you do, because you’re supposed to do it anyway, so our can be thankless a lot, and even harder.

      Reading your post just made me smile and want to say, thank you.

  6. Arya Martell says:

    I’m ready for social media to go away in general. People weren’t meant to be this connected. At this point if I ever get pregnant I wouldn’t want to share it on social media. I don’t want to be apart of that nonsense.

    • G0tch4 says:

      I’ve had quite a few of my boyfriend’s family try to scold me for be my upset his sister put my kid on facebook. He wasn’t even a day old and I had no intentions of allowing him to be put on the Internet. I am not comfortable with it and had asked everyone to do the same. His sister has two children and called me a hysterical first time mom, ignored my request and posted pictures on facebook an hour after she’d been visiting me in the hospital. It’s still a sore point with me to the extent I don’t want her over for a visit because she’ll take pictures and more will go up. I’m not even sure how to handle the situation because it will make family relations on his side a nightmare come Christmas.

      • JenniferJustice says:

        Not that it’s any solution to your problem, but support that yes, sister-in-law had boundaries issues if she refuses to respect your wishes – period!

      • M says:

        Your sister was wrong but please don’t let it interfere with your first Christmas as a family. The relationship of aunt (and cousin, uncle) to niece/nephew is important & amazing (also has great perks for the parents- free babysitting). The family seems to know your stance now so hope that they listened & give them a second chance. I’ve realized, after 8 yrs, that my boys have a relationship with their grandparents, aunts, uncles & cousins that are their own. Nobody loves my kids as much as I do besides their family and my kids will thrive with a large, loving family. My mom gives them food that I do not approve of but what they gain from that relationship far out weighs the junk food (or a pic on FB).

  7. ab says:

    it took me months to bond with my daughter. it wasn’t until she was about five or six months that I really started to feel a connection. I don’t know if it was post-partum or just sleep deprivation, but it took awhile and I had a lot of guilt over it.

    I also agree with her that there is lots of pressure to be “perfect mom” on social media and elsewhere. everything has to be organic and homemade and no plastic toys and diy whatever, and it is hard to keep up. I was more arts-and-crafty before I had a kid, now I have not the time or the energy (or the motivation, really) to make shit myself.

    it’s hard out there for a parent.

    • Wilma says:

      It took me a while too. I loved cuddling with her since birth, but the real bonding came around six months. I realised that I really like this particular kid and want to find out where her life is heading.

  8. Cupcake says:

    I don’t do social media at all so this is not a problem for me!! Woo hoo!!

  9. Little Darling says:

    There is a girl I went to high school with and by all accounts she has the “perfect life” according to Facebook. Awesome body after two kids (and tons of selfies to prove it), a handsome doctor husband, gorgeous, large house and she cooks and bakes and sews and runs marathons. Every post is always screaming, “My life is perfect! My kids are perfect! Look at my perfectly hand decorated cookies I made just because!” Annoying, but more power to her.

    Imagine my surprise when my best guy friend from high school met up with her recently, and told me how since the meeting she has been sending him aggressive come ons and wants to have sex with him, be naked with him, while at the same time she’s posting more pics of her perfect life.

    So, point is, it’s usually not always as great as the perfect ones make it. Perfect example is Goop.

    • JenniferJustice says:

      She sounds like a classic narcissist. They are all about perception, but on the sly, all about themselves.

  10. TOPgirl says:

    I love what she had to say. People always want to hear the positive side of things but never the down side.

  11. JenniferJustice says:

    I dont’ think people realize that besides Post Pardum, there’s the simple fact that your body has been traumatized and you’re kind of shock for a while. I bonded fine. I had no complications. But, I was tired and kind of fuzzy for days after I gave birth. I wasn’t on any meds either. But what happens to your body is traumatic!

    • Anony says:

      YES it is traumatic for sure! I had such terrible pain from my stiches the first 2-3 weeks. It was like torture! I thought I was normal at the time but looking back I was a hysterical basket case the first 6 weeks LOL. I would get abnormally upset over the littlest things. Nothing like pain and no sleep to make you sane!

    • Anony says:

      YES it is traumatic for sure! I had such terrible pain from my stiches the first 2-3 weeks. It was like torture! I thought I was normal at the time but looking back I was a hysterical basket case the first 6 weeks LOL. I would get abnormally upset over the littlest things. Nothing like pain and no sleep to make you sane!

    • Anony says:

      YES it is traumatic for sure! I had such terrible pain from my stiches the first 2-3 weeks. It was like torture! I thought I was normal at the time but looking back I was a hysterical basket case the first 6 weeks LOL. I would get abnormally upset over the littlest things. Nothing like pain and no sleep to make you sane!