Parenting Guilt: killing confidence since the dawn of time

Things I have felt guilty about this week include:

– formula feeding (creeps in on an almost-daily basis, that one)

– early weaning

– lack of exercise (me)

– level of chocolate consumption (me) 

– amount of TV watched (kids)

– not enough vegetables eaten (all of us)

– using heaps of shop-bought purée 

– not enough time spent playing 

– too much time spent yelling (particular low point: raised voice at six month old baby in response to purée-spitting incident. Her lower lip quivered, I begged for her forgiveness… I’m hoping you know how it goes or I’ll be really lonely when they send me to Parent Hell)

Guilt. Guilt. Guilt. 

Why do we do it to ourselves? 

We are doing our best, we put our children’s needs and our own sanity as top priorities (sane parents = helpful) and we have our little one’s best intentions at heart. Oh, and we are PEOPLE, not machines. Right? 
So as long as you’re trying your best, then pop the kettle on, make a brew, sit down and tell the kids they can watch CBeebies for the next twenty (hours… I’m kidding… well, sort of…) minutes, because you’re having a rest. A well deserved one. 

Parenting is tough, enough people throw judgement around, there are piles of laundry all over the place, piles of toys spilling out of every nook and cranny and quite possibly piles popping out elsewhere too (depending on the age of your babies. YEESH.) So let’s stop piling unnecessary guilt onto ourselves aswell.

What would you say to a fellow parent in your guilt-inducing position? 

An example:

Friend: “The kids ate chicken nuggets and watched CBeebies today”

You: “Ah I bet they loved it! Did you manage to get a lot done or did you chill?”

You: “The kids ate chicken nuggets and watched CBeebies today”

Your conscience: “You complete and utter failure. Don’t you know they will now be obese, developmentally stunted and lazy and it’s all YOUR FAULT???!!!?”

Isn’t it time we made friends with ourselves?? I reckon we should all try to start thinking of ourselves like we do our nearest and dearest parent/carer buddies – be gentle, be kind and go easy – we’re all doing the best we can. 
*hugs self, pops kettle on & searches for TV remote* 

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