I’m constantly riddled with guilt. Mammy guilt mostly. Constantly thinking I’m making my children unhappy because I gave out or because I shouted.
Going out to work made me feel guilty. Especially on those mornings when Sarah cried on the doorstep of the childminder’s house, while shouting ‘I want to stay with you mammy.’ I’d often feel guilty for missing their bedtimes on the two days a week that I work late.
I can be so hard on myself sometimes. A lot of the time actually. I recently spent an afternoon with very good mummy friend of mine. We chatted over numerous coffees and she made me realise I’m not the only one that loses the rag sometimes. I’m not the only one that has lazy days and serves up food from the freezer. I’m not the only one that allows their kids watch too much TV.
My above mentioned friend, does all the same things. Do I consider her a bad mammy? No,not at all. To be honest I don’t think about her as a mammy at all and certainly not a bad one. Her children are happy. They are healthy. They adore her. She adores them. That’s all they need. Mine too.
Aidan and Sarah adore me. When I collect them from the childminders’ they are hyper with excitement when they see me. They hug me tighter than anyone else hugs me. They come to me when they are upset. They want me to lie with them until they are asleep. They call for me in the middle of the night when they’ve had a bad dream. I could go on and on.
I’m so glad I’ve had this epiphany and stopped wasting my time with feeling guilty. Mammy guilt is way too prevalent. I think all mammies have it at some stage but I’m done with it. I’m not a perfect mother but show me one that is? I’m not doing a sh*te job though. And the same applies to most mammies. If you’re a mammy reading this, I hope you have an epiphany too.
And do you know what else I’m done with? I’m done thinking that Aidan misbehaves more than others. I’m done with thinking that Sarah is an irrational little lady and it’s all down to my bad parenting. More mammy guilt.
The other morning I dropped Aidan to playschool and jumped in to the car to head off to work. Just before I left I spotted one of the other mams pleading with her child to get out of the car. The child didn’t emerge though. She asked again. And again. And again. I don’t know how it ended because I had to leave for work. I love when I see things like that happen though. I don’t like seeing other parents having to argue with their children but I liked seeing children refusing to get out of the car. It reminds me that all kids have their moments, it’s not just mine. I needed to be reminded of that. Actually I recently read this post on Aha Parenting and it really helped me to deal with uncooperative moments.
Numerous times a week my two either refuse to get in or out of the car. At the time I’m thinking why are they so difficult, just bloody well get in or out, whatever the case may be. In that moment I’m thinking Aidan is four, why the hell is he acting the pup or that he’s as bold as brass. He’s not though, he’s just doing what his little school mate does, what all four year olds do at some point.
There’s days when I’m in the local shopping centre and I see other people’s children having massive tantrums, it makes me smile from ear to ear. Not because I like to see another parent in distress and dealing with a tantrum but it reminds me that my kids aren’t the only ones. Far from it.
The bedtime struggles with Aidan aren’t unique to him. Sarah isn’t the only one who bawls if her banana doesn’t stay fully intact when I take it from it’s skin. Most two year olds have irrational moments every single day. It’s me that needs to stop being irrational about it.
So goodbye mammy guilt, I can’t say you’ve been fun!
PS: Have a read of why I changed careers for the betterment of my family here.