Parenting Guilt

I want to talk about Parenting Guilt. In particular, Mummy Guilt. This is what we all battle with on a daily basis and it doesn’t matter whether you’re a stay at home mum or whether you work a hundred hours a week – the guilt will still get you. Why though? Why do we all feel as though we don’t do enough, listen enough, cook enough (of the right things), play with our kids enough, keep the house tidy enough?? Why is it never enough and why oh why are there always spare socks??!

And don’t even get me started on when you lose your patience with your little darlings. Then the guilt trip really will kick into overdrive. When this happens we forget that we have probably just spent the last two hours being insanely patient and calm and that we have given our little ones ample chance to get back on track. Sometimes you can’t help but lose control and dare I say it, go a bit mental.

Your Best is always good enough

The thing is that we’re all trying our very best for our children and that should be our over-riding innermost thought. But it’s not – for most Mums these days we feel like we can never get it right and I think it’s high time we gave ourselves a break.

Give yourself permission

A good friend of mine who had older girls once gave me a piece of advice when I was feeling bad about getting a babysitter one evening. She said that even though her girls were now 13 and 11 and that she rarely went out, they STILL gave her a hard time if she planned a night out with her friends or husband. She said that you just have to remember to give yourself permission to go out and enjoy yourself because if you’re waiting for your children’s approval you will be waiting a very very long time. And that it’s so important to have some ‘me time’ with your own friends – without your kids being there to interrupt your every other sentence.

We need to remember that by spending time with our friends, and even more importantly with our husbands we are showing to our kids how important those bonds are to us. They see from our example how to be a friend, not to mention that if we are happier we are less likely to lose our tempers as often!

Top tips for flicking away the guilt

So here are my top tips for flicking away those guilty feelings and carving out some important ‘me time’:

  1. Remember that just by getting your child to their activity/school/swimming lesson/appointment you are a superstar and deserve a certificate and lets face it, if you remembered the snacks too you should really get a medal.
  2. A happy mummy=happy family so put some time into things that YOU like doing for a change
  3. Buy some extra strawberries and raspberries that are just for you – so you can actually enjoy some fresh fruit that isn’t a manky leftover from your child’s half eaten snack box
  4. Think about signing up for a food box scheme so you can cook a special meal now and again that you don’t have to think about (and which will get you massive brownie point with your other half)
  5. Get out of the house – with your friends or partner. Remember who you were before children? What you used to enjoy doing? Embrace part of that you again!
  6. Try not to feel bad for losing your temper. You are only human and everyone has a limit to their patience. Your children can learn from all the different emotions they see you go through and anger is as valid as love and fear. Once you’ve calmed down you can explain to them why you got mad and work through it together.
  7. Share your guilt – I guarantee your friends will all have a similar story (or worse) and will make you realise we are all in the same boat just doing our best.
  8. Don’t beat yourself up about it – move on and focus on tomorrow.

You are a superstar Mummy!

So people. Let’s ditch the parenting guilt in favour for reminding yourself everyday of the commitment you make to your children and family and how you’re a superstar Mummy just doing your best. Cos that’s all we can do for our little ones – our very best. x