Before becoming a mum I never really had the feeling of guilt but since being pregnant and having Oscar near enough everything involves feeling guilty. When I was pregnant and I’d been working all day I’d feel guilty for falling asleep at 8.30pm or for napping most of the day after. Then when Oscar was born I felt guilty for so much, I’ve learnt mom guilt is something we need to learn to deal with and embrace.
Today I’ve spent the majority of the day cleaning the house and even now I feel a little bit guilty for not spending that time with Oscar, but I know that Oscar’s dad is off work the weekend so I know we will be spending that time as a family together. I used to feel really guilty and really bad when Oscar stayed at my mums for the night and myself and Lee would go out for some drinks, but I’ve learnt that we need time for us. We need mummy & daddy time and it’s nice for Oscar to spend time with other family members too as when I’m back at work he won’t be able to see me.
Work is another thing, I feel guilty for having to go back to work full-time because we can’t financially afford for me to drop work or go part-time. I’d love nothing more than to stay at home and watch him grow but it’s just not financially possible and this eats me up sometimes. I feel guilty for not being able to drive and not being able to take Oscar to all these nice places like the zoo, sealife centre etc, but I know that with our financial situation at the moment I can’t afford to drive right now. When back at work I will be able to but whilst on SMP there is absolutely no chance. But on the positive side I do try to walk and use public transport as much as possible to take Oscar out and when daddy is off on a weekend he takes us out. Even now the thought of going back to work makes me feel like the worst parent for having to leave my little Oscar for 3 days and his dad works 5 days. I know for a fact that first day back at work I’m going to be an nauseous, emotional wreck.
Before Oscar was born I had high expectations about how I would parent, I haven’t stuck to half of them, I just go with the flow and what suits us most. Maybe I’ve bought some of the guilt on myself by having these expectations but I have to deal with that and I’m slowly learning to. We spend too much time judging our own actions and instead we should be looking at the positives to every situation. I feel guilty for putting Oscar in front of the TV for a couple of hours whilst I clean the house, but I know the weekend we can spend the whole time as a family. Plus the house has to be cleaned at some point.
When my grandad was in the hospice I took Oscar with me near enough every single day, from morning till evening. Even though he was only 3 weeks old. Some days I’d ask Lee’s mum or my step mum to have Oscar for a few hours so I could spend quality time with grandad and as soon as he went, I’d feel so guilty that I wasn’t there with him or he wasn’t with me. I’m extremely grateful that they were able to have him for a few hours but inside I just felt so guilty.
At first I felt guilty for formula feeding Oscar because there is this big rage that ‘breast is best’, I didn’t feel comfortable with breastfeeding, it’s not for me. But that feeling of guilt was still there when I felt as though I had to justify my reasons for choosing formula. I now know that it’s my choice, my choices are what suit me and not to please anybody else. If I chose formula feeding then respect my choice it’s as simple as that. Every parent makes a different decision to another, but that doesn’t mean were bad parents.
Some mornings if Oscar isn’t changed into clean clothes by about 9am I feel guilty, As silly as it sounds I feel so guilty. Even if we’re spending the day in the house I have to get him changed by morning because it eats me up inside if I leave him in last nights baby grow. Bathing too, I don’t bath Oscar every single night and I’ve spoken to mums who bath their little ones every night in their routine and then I think well am I not doing enough? Now I realise I’m not a bad mum because I don’t bath Oscar every night before bed, I’m not a bad mum for not changing Oscar by 9am I’m a good mum because I love Oscar and I do my best for him.
Here are a few tips I’ve found useful just to remind me when I have that overwhelming wave of guilty strike my body.
- Remind yourself of all the good things you do
- Feeling guilty is completely normal even if there is no need to
- Nobody is perfect so stop trying to be
- Allow yourself to make mistakes
- Your children don’t want perfect, they just want you
- Do you, do whats best for you and your family
- Stop trying to impress others and live up to their expectations
- Trust yourself
- Remember we do our best and our best is enough
Does mom guilt not just show how much you love your kids? And it’s okay to feel guilty, it’s completely normal. If you didn’t care you would feel guilty about the smallest of things. Does it not just show how much you care about your children? Nobody is perfect and I think we should stop trying to be the perfect parents, all your children need is you being you, we don’t need to be perfect. Just sit down, take a deep breath and have a cup of tea, you’re a good mum and you’re doing a wonderful job. Remember, nobody is perfect and why would we want to be?
Thanks for the read,