Mother’s guilt seems to be built into our DNA.
For a long time, every time my head hit the pillow I would run through everything I had done “wrong” that day.
“How many serves of veggies did the kids have today? I shouldn’t have let my four year old watch Mister Maker this afternoon, too much screen time today. Am I providing enough fine motor activities for my youngest? Must find some more sugar free baking recipes on Pinterest tomorrow. I wonder if we should switch to gluten free.”
And then I would wonder why I could lay in bed for two sometimes even three hours without falling asleep!
Until one day it kind of clicked. There is no way to be a perfect mother. There just isn’t. We are only human after all.
But there are a million ways to be a good one (okay maybe not a million but there are many).
Two weeks ago I let my four year old choose what he wanted to have for dinner. He requested Subway and that is exactly what he got. Twelve months ago I would have let myself lay in bed feeling guilty but not anymore. I watched him devour his ham & cheese sub AND a cookie.
Last week my husband and I went to see a movie and the kids went to spend a few hours with their Nanna and Pa. It sounds ridiculous but I used to feel guilty every time I wasn’t by their side until I realised – my two sweet boys don’t feel abandoned if we pop out for a few hours. In fact, I doubt they really notice we are gone because they are just so chuffed to spend some time with their grandparents who play car races and let them have an extra sweet treat.
So now when I go to bed instead of thinking of all the things I have done wrong, I think of everything I have done “right.” And I say that word loosely as the truth is, what’s right for me and my family is different for what is right for another family. We are all riding this wild and wonderful parenting journey and there is no blueprint approach that works for everyone.
“They really loved making those fruit skewers for morning tea today. How precious were their squeals of delight when we had a huge tickle fight on the trampoline this afternoon. Must go and get craft supplies tomorrow so we can recreate Mister Maker’s latest creation. I wonder if they would like to go and visit my parents this weekend, we might even go out for a child free dinner!”
There is no way to be a perfect mother but many ways to be a good one.
Do you suffer from mother’s guilt?
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