Why do we feel guilty?
Because we love them so damn much and we want what’s best for them. Because guilt is an actual emotion and very few of us despite some strong affirmations of being all powerful human beings, are in fact big balls of give a shit humans who do care deeply, worry greatly and understand what an impact parenting has on our children.
What do we feel guilty over?
Oh pretty much everything and anything, these are the things I have felt guilty over in just the last week.
•Working too much
•Being tired and grumpy
•My hormones taking over
•Shouting at them
•Swearing around them
•Feeding them crap
•Letting them watch too much tv
•Not getting in contact with the school about all my minor grumbles
•Not collecting Thomas from school
•Not taking Thomas to school
•Not being around in the mornings and leaving my husband to deal with all the chaos
•Walking downstairs after they are finally asleep, sighing a sigh of relief and celebrating with a goblet of vodka.
I asked my followers on Instagram what made them feel guilty. And it came down pretty much to 4 things:
It’s funny isn’t it because in my mind I know exactly what I want to say to you all but in practice I feel exactly the same way.
Time– What I was going to say is that time is precious, we all know how quickly it goes by. My children seem to grow daily and change sometimes moment to moment, a week or a month flies by and before you know it a year goes by. I would say don’t spend time worrying, live more in the moment. But we all know how easy that is!
Patience- is a real guilt producer for me. I feel that I should have more patience as a mother through adoption. That I know why they may be behaving the way that they are behaving so I should be able to be patient with them all the time.
I’ve also never come across anyone that can wind me up so quickly. As parents we often compare ourselves to those we see in real life and on social media. We often think that everyone else can remain patient so why can’t we?
Please tell me if I’m wrong, but I do not think there is one parent that has not shouted at their children at one point or another. I really try my best not too. And if I do then I try when things have calmed down to talk it through.
Anger and frustration are all feelings that our children need to learn about, recognise in others and learn how to regulate and calm down from those dizzy heights of anger or frustration.
It’s not easy but rather than brushing it under the carpet talk it through when the moment is right.
I swear by taking a deep breath too. But like all of us there will be moments where no deep breath or chat will cross my mind and I’ll lose my shit like every body else does from time to time.
Tech- My children watch too much tv, they play on the wii, they watch you tube on the iPads and they play racing games. They also spend at least 4 hours each day (if not more) outside; climbing, running, scootering, making mud pies, splashing in the waves.
I think just do you. And don’t worry if someone else does it differently. What works for one family might not work for you, it might not even be about “working” it might be just different and that is ok.
Food- I have lost count of the times people have tried to “advise” me on my daughters eating habits, I’ve been sent articles and been offered countless suggestions. I don’t mind, well sometimes I do if I fell judged by the advise but mostly people are just trying to be helpful.
The most helpful advise anyone ever gave me regarding her diet was “don’t worry about it” and that was from a health visitor. When I listed the foods she ate which are
She said it was all healthy and not to worry. So I stopped worrying although two things baffle me why all no matter how little else they eat will eat spaghetti bolognaise and why my daughter looks like she’s going to
Vomit if she tries a bit of chicken but will quite happily dip a wotsit in a strawberry yoghurt!
How do we stop feeling guilty?
I would say we won’t and just maybe as we get over something, something else will come along and the cycle of guilt will start again.
I do think we need to try and go a bit easier on ourselves.
Feel the feelings, take a bit of time to reflect and try not to feel guilty because you feel someone else is doing better at parenting or life!
Because let’s face it we are all trying our best and although we might not share every aspect of our lives we are the only ones who can maybe have a glimmer of understanding as to why we and others feel guilty.
So next time you see your friend or family member who has children, maybe share something you feel guilty about. I bet the response you get is “me too”.