Is it the fate of every mummy to perpetually feel guilty? I think so. For there are a million and one things to feel guilty about. All the time. Every day. Right now, this very moment I feel guilty about not finishing the washing up. I also feel guilty that I haven’t even made a sniff at starting dinner and my husband will be home any moment. I have parcels sitting on my table unopened since yesterday, letters waiting to be filed away and an incessant pile of washing to be done, all of which I feel a teensy bit guilty about not doing.
It seems the moment you become a parent, there is always something to feel guilty about. Sometimes its big things, often times its the little things. Here are some of the things that I have found myself feeling a little guilty about since becoming a mummy:
Missing important friend and family engagements and social gatherings has unfortunately become something that seems to come with having children. We had quite a few close friends and family weddings either side of the little lady arriving, which meant we had to miss all the pre-wedding activities and the big events themselves. People understood, but it doesn’t make you feel any less guilty about it.
Taking ages to do things, because non child related activities just don’t seem to be a priority anymore. A friend asked me awhile back if I could give her a LinkedIn recommendation. Shes a great friend, and she was a great ex-colleague, so I was more than happy to oblige. However, months on it still sits in the midst of my ever growing to do list. This is just one of the things that I haven’t been able to get round to and its getting more embarrassing each time I speak to her.
As a breastfeeding mummy I often feel guilty about some of the less healthy food choices I make every now and then. When I reach for those chocolate biscuits, or that packet of crisps the thought that what I eat nutritionally passes on to my daughter often crosses my mind. Although more often than not its usually about 3pm in the afternoon and the first thing Ive had a chance to grab, but I still feel guilty about it.
I feel guilty that four months on after having my daughter I have yet to dust off my trainers and workout gear. I promised myself that long before I now I would have got back in the gym. The thing is, im actually one of those annoying people that actually quite like the gym, yet I still haven’t been able to muster up the energy or find the time to get in there.
I feel guilty that oftentimes, im feeling rather lackluster by the time it gets to bath time. For us, bath time signals the beginning of bedtime and the whole long process of endurance and perseverance that’s about to begin. I can only liken how I feel to the 4pm sugar slump I used to get when I was in the office and only a sugar fix would see me through the rest of the afternoon. As a mum, I feel guilty that im not always looking forward to the fun of bath times like I feel I should.
With the inevitability of retuning to work sometime next year, I feel like every day is precious. I want to make the most of my one on one time with my little lady, and that for me means getting us out and about to experience and enjoy things together. We have been to classical baby concerts, rhymetime at the library and joined a baby sensory class. Next term is looking equally busy with the addition of swimming and baby yoga. However, there are those days when I just don’t feel like doing very much and we might have the odd lazy day at home which leaves me feeling guilty, like we’ve just wasted one of our precious days. I know that its perfectly fine, and probably expected, but I still feel guilty about it.
Not giving my daughter 100% of me all the time is probably the thing that I feel the most guilt about most of the time. I know its probably unrealistic to achieve this, however it doesn’t make me feel any less guilty that I’m not always present and giving her 100% of my time, focus and attention. There is always going to be housework to be done, food to be cooked, shopping to be done, and so on, and its not always possible to squeeze all of this into nap times. I’m sure the little lady doesn’t even mind, in fact I think most of the time she even enjoys watching mummy go about her day to day errands, but I still feel guilty about it.
So it seems that feeling guilty every now and then is part and parcel of becoming a parent. Perhaps its a natural and healthy, intrinsic reflection of how much you love, care and worry for your child. As new or seasoned parents, can you relate to feeling guilty about the everyday things that we face as parents? Share your thoughts and comments below, I would love to hear from you.