Everyone hears about mum-guilt. Even non-parents get a whiff of the term, usually through various media outlets. I was aware of it too, but arrogantly thought that I wouldn’t suffer because ‘I would always do what’s best for my child’, so why would I feel guilty?
Well here’s a list of things I have felt guilty about so far, even though my child has yet to have any kind of complex emotional problems for me to f up.
- am I doing enough to develop my child
- am I doing too much to develop my child so that he’soverwhelmed
- has he got enough toys
- has he got too many toys
- am I doing the right thing staying home
- am I doing the right thing if I go to work
- am I giving him enough variety of food
- am I feeding too much
- am I feeding too little
- is my responsive parenting spoiling my child
- am I responding enough to my child
- is letting him cry going to ruin his entire life
- is not letting him cry going to ruin his entire life
- is cosleeping going to make him clingy
- is not cosleeping going to make it difficult for him to feel attached
- am I showing enough love
- am I loving too much
- does he KNOW how much I love him
- oh god what if he doesn’t know
- should I be cleaning the house when home with him
- should I be spending time with him instead of cleaning the house
- do I read enough to him
- does he watch too much TV
- do I need to structure his day more
- have I structured his day too much
And if that isn’t enough, you’re constantly questioning whether or not you’re a royally f’ing up regardless of what you do, as said very well by friend and resident blogger in her article, But am I a bad mom.
The sad truth is that we’re all going to do something wrong as parents because we’re not perfect. And that’s scary as hell! But by the very nature of feeling guilt, there’s a certain degree of relief. Because if you feel guilt, you know you’re not just doing your best; you’re also ready to change something if it doesn’t seem right.
My guilt makes me aware of how my child is responding to my parenting, which in turn allows me to amend things so that he gets the best upbringing I can provide.
Or am I helicopter parenting?
I know there are many many other things us mothers are made to feel guilty about. What are yours?