Guilt. It comes with the territory, I think, as soon as you become a mother.
Little Man is a constant challenge, as any active, adventurous 16 month-old is. And in my reflective moments, I adore that he’s like this, as I think it indicates confidence, intelligence and a happy, little spirit. I’m proud of him, but that doesn’t make it any easier when he’s moving from one potential catastrophe to another, with me trailing behind him every minute that he’s awake. Boo? Well, she’s 4, she’s smart, and she knows her own mind. We have the odd clash. Again, I’m incredibly proud of her, of course. Pop these two in with working from home, and I can find it challenging! And testing. I can get impatient, and then I feel guilty, of course.
I have them at home with me, not at a childminders or nursery, though Boo now has a couple of days at pre-school in preparation for going to school in September. I wonder, does this put them at a disadvantage? When other children are having child development experts looking after them, and are surrounded by other kids to play with, are they getting a better start than mine? This isn’t about competitive parenting, or one-upmanship, just a genuine concern to do the best I can for them.
I’ve been pondering how we spend our time together. Little Man went to baby massage and baby yoga in his first few months of life. It was something for just the two of us, and nice as I’d not taken these classes with Boo. He hasn’t been to any since then. Boo did. I’m not certain that he needs them, though there are a couple I have my eye on that we will start in September while Boo is at school. In the meantime, is he missing out? Is he being hard-done by? Not sure that he is, as he certainly seems happy and developing well, but hey, it’s something else to feel guilty about, isn’t it?
I’m not even going to start on considering the effects of the odd take-away that we have, watching CBeebies or their biscuit intake! Everything in moderation, I believe, so I’ll push these guilty thoughts out with that!
On the flip-side, I never feel guilt doing something for me. Probably because I do it so rarely! Putting the kids first just kind of happens, so when they’re in bed, and I want to sit and eat copious amounts of ice cream, watch films, read books, I’m happy and guilt-free – I earn it!
I think the motherhood guilt is always there on some level, and I’ve yet to meet another parent entirely without it. I think the key is to not let it overwhelm you, at least not too often or for too long. It cannot swallow you up, but to have it there lurking must mean you care, that you want to do your best at this motherhood thing, as after all, it’s likely to be the most important thing you’ll ever do. That’s what I tell myself anyway. Reassure myself it’s all normal, and maybe even a positive sign. A sign that I’m trying.
How about you? Do you have guilty moments?
This post was inspired by a new linky by one of my favourite bloggers, Sara over at MumTurnedMom, called The Prompt. Do pop over and see what others made of it.