Thursday, 11 February 2016

Parenting Guilt

Mummy guilt. or should I say, parent guilt.. (Dad's never seem to get a mention do they?)

Along with the perils of teething, over tired tantrums, and stretch marks in unmentionable places, Parent Guilt is just another one of those things you find out all about after having a baby (and maybe just as well ) 
Pre-baby I had very little to feel guilty about, and if I did, it was all trivial things like not swapping shifts with a co-worker, declining a night out or 'forgetting' to respond to a text.
Like I said, I had very little to feel guilty about. 

Since becoming a mum I feel guilty over everything. Every little thing. Everyday, all day long - Like an emotional hamster wheel of guilt.

I'll worry if i've spent enough quality time with my daughter that day, then  feel guilty that the house resembles a squatter's den because we spent the whole afternoon playing with every toy in the box. 
I'll then clean and  feel guilty that I want it to stay tidy and that i've hid the crayons, Peppa toys, slide and seesaw out of sight so that I don't have to put them away later.
I'll feel guilty that I put her down for her afternoon nap, and now the sun is shining and she's missing out on a beautiful day outside, yet deep down I know if I was to wake her i'd feel guilty that I disturbed her sleep and run the risk of her having a public emotional breakdown due to the sleep hanging out of her.
I worry that she watches too much tv, despite the fact she's quite capable without it and uses it as mostly background noise as she potters about the living room from toy to toy.
I feel guilty when she waves goodbye when she's comes along to drop me off to work, even though I decided to return to work to add to our income so we can live comfortably and treat her to nice things now and again.
I feel guilty that I enjoy time alone. I'm conscious that I don't make enough for my childless friends, that when I do i've missed out on big parts of their day to day lives because sometimes I can be so consumed in my own. 
I feel guilty that I make my own partner feel guilty when he says he's tired or has had a rough day. Because God forbid the man might feel tired after a 10 hour day!
For flipsake, I feel guilty that i'm even feeling guilty about every thing instead of just enjoying every minute I have as a parent.

Literally every little thing turns into a reason to feel guilty about.

 I read a comment on Facebook recently under a 'Unmumsy Mum' post, in which a woman said to remember this following statement in those guilt ridden or 'down day' moments 

'Everyone fed, no one dead' 

If we have achieved just that, surely we are all doing a wonderful job. 
It's time to not let the guilt consume us, but rather in a weird way, embrace it ( unfortunately it never leaves- or so I am told) because it reminds us that we care, we want the very best for our children, it would be more concerning if we didn't have these worries, if we had given up all hope and didn't strive for better. 
In years to come i'm almost certain (or I at least for my sake, hope) that my daughter doesn't remember that I didn't have her at every baby/toddler group going- because I shudder at the very thought of them, that chicken nuggets were a dinner time staple, or that it often took us until 12pm to leave the house.
But she'll remember the sunny days she spent in the park on the swings, nights she stayed up a little later because Grandparents were over, days at the beach and sunday morning in bed snuggled (or rather, wedged, feet in spine etc etc) between her Mummy and Daddy
Because at the end of the day, those are the things that she will remember and those  above everything are the things that really matter, aren't they?

© A New Mum Without A Manual

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