Being a parent is all fun and games until you finally do something for yourself for once or not doing something you ‘should be’ and the dreaded ‘guilt’ hits you right in the face!!
The majority of people I’ve spoken to have also said they experience this, it’s completely normal! You’re that used to doing everything possible for your tiny human that sometimes you forget to look after yourself and when you do you feel terrible and the guilt kicks in, from having 5 minutes peace to trying to make dinner.
I feel guilty when I cook oven food for him. Don’t get me wrong, Zach loves a good flipper dipper, potato and carrot waffles and peas tea, he especially likes throwing the peas all around the room! I always feel bad that I haven’t prepared a meal from scratch or made an effort because there’s 2 days worth of washing up that I’m ignoring or the fact I simply cannot be bothered because I’m exhausted, but then I remember it’s okay! It’s not the worst thing he could possibly put in his mouth (or on the floor) and 90% of the time when I do lovingly prepare him a meal he throws it all over or would rather graze on raisins and bloody organix crisps.
I feel guilty when I use CBeebies as a babysitter. Now in our house usually CBeebies is always on the telly- because Zach loves it, he doesn’t watch most of the programmes but if you happen to see him when the Twirlywoos is on he becomes as still as a statue and doesn’t take his eyes off it. We all do it. 5 minutes peace to catch up on your phone with current events that don’t involve Bing the bloody nuisance? CBeebies. Trying to do all the (2 days worth) of washing up in peace? CBeebies. Trying to cook (actual food) without a one year old swinging off your legs?! CBEEBIES.
I feel guilty if I don’t go to a playgroup/play date. I know this is very common! If I can’t bring myself to take us to one, or if I happen to be working I feel awful and worry I’m ruining the poor boys socialising skills! (I know I’m not) but we all overthink things don’t we? It’s not the end of the world. We can go next week, or next time I’m off or we can (gently) force the boys together for a catch up while we make them nap and we eat doughnuts! (Only 2 of the 3 maniacs actually fell asleep, there’s always one and he’s always mine!)
I feel guilty if we don’t do many activities together. Myself and Zach spend A LOT of time together but we rarely do any activities in the house or in the garden at the moment, partly because the garden is a jungle and partly because Zach goes mental if paint DARES touch him. In December I decided to make home made Christmas cards using his footprint – he went mental. Throwing pom poms, trying to jab me with a paintbrush you name it. I swore never again. But now I feel a pang of guilt whenever I see mums with tuff trays at the ready! I’m going to invest in one and make my child messy, and also not beat myself up over it, there’s plenty of time for lots of lovely activities!
A newer one I’ve recently experienced is the guilt I get if I go out somewhere, even for something as little as getting my eyebrows done or going out for tea somewhere, I feel awful that he’s not with me?! I should be cartwheeling for a bit of actual adult time but I’m always talking about him or thinking about him! I was on a night out too a few weeks ago and I seen a couple of people I knew (separate times) and they all looked shocked that I was out?! I was greeted with ‘WHERES ZACH?!’ Before anything else, well I’m in a pub? Obviously he’s in my clutch bag, say hello! (He obviously totally wasn’t, he was at his Grandads!!) but that actually shocked me and I felt guilty for even DARING exiting the house without Zach in tow! It’s ridiculous how guilty we feel for doing little things!
We need to kick this Guilt up the backside, sometimes for our own actual sanity it’s nice to be able to do grown up things, with other grown ups! Or even some time to ourselves, although it’s easier said than done with our little whirlwinds.
Have you ever felt guilty about doing things for yourself? Let us know in the comments, thank you for reading.