Mother Guilt. Come on, you all know it. That little voice inside our head. That running commentary. That ability to go from super-mum to beating yourself up in five seconds flat.It might sound a little something like this:
Have I spent enough time with the children today? Should I feel guilty for taking that half-an-hour bath listening to screaming and arguing outside the closed door? Am I a horrible mother because my kids didn’t brush their teeth/have a bath/eat vegetables today? I’m a working mother and I can’t attend all the school functions/help out with tuckshop/take a place on the P & C. I don’t make play-dough for my children, they’re ruined for life. There are no clean clothes in my children’s drawers. The house isn’t super clean because I watched a movie and ate chocolate. I was late for parade and missed my daughter’s band recital. I couldn’t afford to send my son to school camp this year. Is a hole going to open up and swallow me because my children aren’t in a routine? My children are still in their school uniforms at 9pm dancing to party Rock Anthem in the lounge room and (I am videoing it). We had dinner at 8pm tonight because I was tired and hadn’t done the grocery shopping. My daughter is struggling at school because I don’t spend 1.5 hours a night helping her with her homework or have a tutor.I have done these things and lived the guilt. I have had mothers come to me asking advice. I have heard all the mother guilt. It has to stop.
The truth is…so what. Do not compare yourself to Mrs Got It All Together who lives at number 49 down the street. Don’t compare yourself to Mrs Just Woke Up with a Latte in my Hand Perfectly Made-Up Designer Clothed Pram-Pushing Everywhere at the Right Time Routine is What It’s All About What’s Wrong With You? from Play Group.
Embrace the mother that you are. If your kids are laughing, learning, happy, growing and have friends…you’re doing something right. Children are flexible. Children will forgive small transgressions. Love them, play with them and have fun. The rest will take care of itself. Stop feeling guilty. I did and it was wonderfully liberating.
- Neglected Children, Messy Houses and Guilt (parenting.blogs.nytimes.com)
- The last generation raised on guilt (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Do you feel parenting guilt? (timesunion.com)