Guilt

Parenting. Such a MAGICAL experience. Along with all the fear, desperation, exhaustion, irritation, frustration and total absolute dicking bollocks of parenting, comes guilt. GUILT. I feel it ALL THE COCKING TIME. I can’t escape it. I’m afraid to say, people, that when you spawn a tiny person you instantly and violently sign up for a LIFETIME of this emotional headfucking stuff. It’s overwhelming, and gives me heartburn. Yeesh.

I feel guilty…

that I don’t do enough ‘educational’ stuff with Moo

that I don’t spend enough time outdoors with Moo

that I let her watch too much TV

that I spend too much time on Twitter while she watches TV

that I don’t feed her enough food

that she eats too much junk food

that she doesn’t socialise with other children enough

that I don’t socialise with other parents enough

that sometimes I just want a break from the parenting stuff

that I should be looking for work even though it wouldn’t mean I was any better off right now

that I should be writing a novel/a screenplay/a play instead of blogging

that I should eat more healthily

that I should be a better sister/daughter/friend

that all this internal gibbering makes me a bad mother

that I’m not more proactive about a LOT of things

that I shout at Moo when I really don’t mean to

that sometimes I only really want some time on my own

that I’ve just spent fifteen quid in the supermarket on crap when I could budget properly and save cash

that I resent a lot of people who have what I don’t have even though I know that’s a horrid thing to do

that I know it could be a lot worse for me and I hate moaning

that I feel guilty about most of this stuff when I should just QUIT IT, FUCKSAKE –  and man up…

 

You see? It’s a convoluted nightmare of epic proportions. And I’m only being a tiny bit dramatic there. Which I feel guilty about. Obvs.

What do you feel guilty about?

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55 comments

  1. Emma

    You know what? You should be staying sane. And if sometimes that means giving yourself permission to blog / tweet / stick cbeebies on / feed everyone chips and biscuits (for brekkie) because that is what gets you through the day, then that is the very best choice you could make. I think I have ticked off every type of guilt – with first kid, guilt about not really being able to cope, guilt about getting *really cross* when he cried even though I knew he was a baby and that is sort of what they do (!), guilt that he wasn’t eating, guilt that when he did it wasn’t all hand crafted balanced organic meals, and guilt about being really quite relieved when I went back to work. With him I did loads of activities (mostly to stop my own insanity) and he mostly got cross about being hauled around when he really wanted to chill out at home. Cue guilt at not being able to cope with that. Then 2nd kid, I was much more confident (and she slept better) so I had less of a desparate need for human contact, so we didn’t go out as much. Cue guilt about failing to stimulate/ engage her as she was kinda happy to be left to it, so I went online and discovered your blog instead ;-). Now I’m back at work again, feeling guilty I can’t do school pick ups, and that someone else spends more time with my babies than me. But both kids are fabulous, chatty, confident and loved. So there is no “should” there is only what keeps you happy and together enough to give the love. The rest sorts itself out. I still feel guilty, though.

    • motherventing

      Like I said to someone else in another comment, there will always BE the guilt, it’s just how you manage it. I think I can acknowledge that it won’t go away, and OK, that sucks, but you’re right in saying that as long as Moo is happy, healthy and loved (and me too, natch) then who cares? Parents feel guilt, it’s nature, it’s inherent, it will happen till the end of time. At least we’re human enough to admit it. Thanks so much for reading and commenting :)

  2. Older Mum (@Older_Mum)

    Ditto. Ditto. Ditto. All the above. Especially not doing ‘enough educational stuff’ and the whole TV thing, like now when Little A is watching an episode of the Octonauts and I’m typing this comment. Dare I say it, her TV time is my blog reading time. Ugh. I feel guilty. And so get you with the whole blogging vs. novel thing. Now I feel rubbish!

  3. Grenglish

    I feel guilty because I am at work and my son is in nursery ALL DAY. I feel guilty in the morning when we are getting ready that I am rushing him so we are not late. I feel guilty when I collect him from nursery for feeling tired from being at work all day. Any moment not spent with him or thinking about him brings on an attack of the guilts :-)

  4. mummywhisperer

    Pick 3 things that you do manage to do lovely (be very specific) and don’t worry about the rest – thats how I manage it.
    I basically sat down & thought “what 3 things would I be most gutted about not happening on my death bed?” – not as depressing as it sounds ;o).
    My picks were:
    - That my kids feel loved and love me (versus food, being millionaires or having PHD’s) – so all I have to do is cuddle, chat and give them a bit of attention
    - That I’m healthy, fit & sure of myself – this is obviously a WIP and down to my Fibromyalgia diagnosis – my body is pretty clear when I’m not doing this.
    - That my books become THE ‘pick me up books for mums’ – versus becoming a millionaire etc

    One rule – ignore all SHOULDs and MUSTs xxx

    • motherventing

      That’s really helpful, thank you :) thing is, I know, generally, that everything’s fine and I’ve nowt to fret about – just occasionally I get a bit of a brain-spasm and I need to order my thoughts before they ramble off into oblivion. The guilt thing is inherent, sure, everyone feels it; the trick is managing it and not letting it rule you, which I’m frequently in danger of doing. I’m definitely going to do what you suggest, thanks again xxx

  5. Being Mummy (@BeingMummyBlog)

    I can say ditto to most of these too. Especially the socialising with other children one. Even if we were doing the complete opposite of all these things we’d still find something to give ourselves a hard time over though!

  6. mrstutey

    parenting is tough hunnie and guilt is massive. for me it’s returning to work. creates an anxious monster that i don’t like. you are doing fab. moo is fine, we can’t be superhuman ALL the time ;-)

  7. mascara & mud

    i have lost count the number of times i have arrived at my desk at work in tears because of guilt. guilt, guilt, guilt…uch, bleurgh!! so when they ask why don’t i pick them up at school like other mums, i tell them i do it for the nice birthday prezzies etc. and i like to feel that i’m setting them a good example…fingers crossed!! ps – will feel guilty when i have beans on toast for my lunch and i’m sharing an office with someone else! haa!…

      • Alice

        It’s not my intention to be unpleasant. However you must have sent 50-odd tweets in the last three hours. If you find yourself talking about parenting more than you’re actively parenting then it’s time to put the laptop down and go to the park :)

          • Alice

            If you write a post that so overtly seeks validation then you’ve got to accept the rough with the smooth.

            • motherventing

              Actually, I was just describing my feelings at that particular time. I never expressly set out to ‘seek validation’. It’s great when my readers offer it. I believe I can take the rough with the smooth as well, I do every day; what I don’t appreciate is a somewhat disapproving tone from you.

              Thanks for making your opinion known. Cheerio.

            • Andie (@AndieDelicacy)

              Yeah, when I feel guilty, I like to project. On other people’s blog comments. Blog funtimes I call it, for when the comments are disabled on the Daily Mail site. Spreading the joy, making mums feel like shit for finding some light relief on twitter after doing the hardest job in the world….oh wait I don’t do that. That would be the work of EVIL FORCES. As you were.

  8. richmondmummy

    Oh god the guilt is never ending, I hear you! I have nodded my head at many of those things you’ve listed above, many many many of those things, but still, Allegra says “I luv you mummy” and I think ah good, well I can’t be doing too badly then… they are quite forgiving of our short-commings these little people it seems! xx

  9. Notmyyearoff

    I do all of these!! You could be in my head writing this. I sometimes just let z eat chips just so that he’s actually eaten something! You are a fantastic mummy!! Xx

  10. Mrs Smith

    Ditto. Think 99% of parents feel the same, because we want more and the very best for our own, if we didn’t we wouldn’t feel guilt. So embrace it and know its because there is always room for improvement. BTW, my list of guilt trips are pretty similar to yours.

  11. Sonya Cisco

    That for dinner I ate a giant bar of chocolate and for lunch a packet of biscuits. Oh the guilt and the shame. oh well, feck it, might as well have some cake for afters.

  12. oriana

    Those last 4 points really remind me of me! Hate feeling like that. But yeah guilt all the time, think its a parent thing. Moo is gorgeous and is loved that’s all she needs xx

  13. TK

    Ditto. Ditto. Ditto! It’s a curse, this guilt. But you’re a wonderful mother – keep telling yourself that!

  14. Jules smith

    Have felt guilt about most of these things. I don’t take my kids swimming every week like my parents did with me, and I don’t bake enough with my eldest cos littlest is such an attention seeker. Messes with ur head this parenting malarkey

  15. bluebirdsunshine

    I hadn’t thought to feel guilty about not spending enough time with other parents. Feeling guilty I had overlooked that one now. Thanks for some fresh food for my internal guilt monster ;)

  16. Mum2BabyInsomniac

    I could have written most of these! We can only do our best though and I bet Moo thinks you are an amazing mummy :) xx

  17. freefallinginto40

    All too familiar. Guilt is part of the job, I’m afraid. When I get overwhelmed by it all I pick one thing and make a conserted effort to change it for a bit. So, I’m a bit rubbish with the outside thing too, so I either promise to go to a park twice a week or plan a few garden activities (as I do have one). Don’t beat yourself up chick. You are doing a good job and as long as you are happy and Moo is happy, you’re 90% there.

    • motherventing

      Thanks dearheart. In fact I did go to the park this afternoon and we had a great time picking daisies on the grass. It would’ve been easier for me to stick the TV on but I’m so glad I didn’t. I’m trying to sort this happiness thing. Doesn’t come smoothly every day. But I’m trying.

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