Mum guilt, let’s admit it, we have all felt this at some point. Whether your child is six months old or sixteen years old, we all feel it in some way or another with many of us experiencing it more than once a day.
I’ve felt it from pregnancy through to now; when mine are now seven and nine years old. Sometimes I laugh at how pathetic I feel about worrying and feeling guilty about absolutely EVERYTHING and other times I cry. Honestly; I cry more than laugh about it. Then of course not forgetting the times that I do both at the same time, and let me tell you, that is not a pretty sight!
I gained so much weight in both my pregnancies through a mixture of needing steroids and, well let’s be honest, eating way too much! I would tell myself ‘it’ll be fine, I’ll just walk it off after the birth’. After my first born this is exactly what I did, but after my second child, not a chance.
No amount of preparation could have made me ready for the difference between having one child to two, especially not the amount of people at work with their unhelpful comments telling me how hard it will be having two children so close together. Comments like “don’t you have a tv?” and “you won’t lose the weight this time”. Little did they know that I needed a good fertility boost to get pregnant along with steroids and a long list of medication to be able to even carry my babies to term. How years of heartache had finally led me to this path and their comments weren’t funny or helpful, just really bloody annoying.
The guilt I felt to my first born hit me so hard. I just assumed that while, yes, I had a difficult conception, pregnancy and labour, what I did have is a chilled out, happy baby. I thought I’d still have plenty of time to cook fresh healthy meals and play nearly the same amount. How wrong was I? My second was not like my first.
That little sleep terrorist would not sleep for more than an hour at a time and would feed every hour for an hour until I eventually swapped her to bottle at my nurses request. She would not even go in a pram, as she hated laying down. Thank the lord for battery operated mobile swings, they were a life saver – literally.
I had not planned for postnatal depression (although I did have concerns having them so close) and to be so amazingly sleep deprived.
Every day, from the pregnancy to now, I blame myself for every little thing they are sad or frustrated about – constant mum guilt.
When I end up losing my shit, because I can’t listen to one more tantrum about the fact they didn’t want chicken for dinner, they wanted spag bol, and it’s obviously my fault as I left my mind reading skills in a box that day! I end up feeling like the worst mum in the world and apologise for shouting.
I feel guilty if they haven’t eaten healthily for a few days because I can’t find the motivation to cook healthy meals for them to then argue about it. I feel guilty because they sometimes can’t stand up for themselves and I worry it’s my fault because I know I literally smother them with love and do absolutely everything for them.
I feel guilty for them not being as independent as some other children seem. Basically, you name it, I’ve felt terrible for it.
However, what I have started to realise is that I need to give myself more credit and focus on the positives. They are both smart, caring, loving little humans that understand the difference between right and wrong. They believe that being kind to people could make the difference to that person’s day and they are starting to believe in themselves much more since I have started to believe in myself.
I have also realised that I am just the same as everyone else with children, and that its completely normal to feel this way. Although I believe we, (well I know I do) need to move on from the guilt quicker and do not let it bring us down for too long after. We are just human after all.
So, all Mums, Dads and carers out there, please remember to not be so hard on yourselves. When you put all your love and effort into raising your little people they feel it. Throughout the tantrums and stubbornness a beautiful, kind, strong adult will grow and it would have been worth all the blood, sweat and tears.
Now hand me the Gin…………..