As people, we are all different. We like different things, dress, think and act in different ways and generally live our lives differently. In the same way, we all parent differently.
Some people breast feed, others bottle feed. Some people use disposable nappies, some use cloth. Others buy noisy toys for their kids, others stick to wooden… the list goes on!
But, at the same time as being uniquely different from each other, we are also all going through the same thing – finding our way through parenthood.
We will all experience that sense of self doubt and worry that we are doing the right thing by our children. We will all feel guilty about some aspect of our care – whether that’s due to working full time and being away from the children, or even the feeling that your child is not developing as quickly as the websites on the internet say they should be.
I, myself, have been experiencing quite a lot of “mum guilt” lately. Since going back to work, I have found that my time with the children has been significantly reduced and I am missing out on things that I would not have if I wasn’t out all of the time. I have also found that comparing my family’s life to others makes me feel like a bad mum – even if I cannot always pinpoint the reason why.
But we shouldn’t feel guilty.
As parents we are all doing our best for our children and we are all pushing ourselves to make their lives as full and as joyful as possible whilst trying to teach them the ways of life and help them grow into functional adults.
When you are feeling frustrated due to lack of sleep or a growth spurt, remind yourself of the time you have dedicated to relaxing them, making them feel calm and loved and helping them to drift off at night.
If you are feeling guilty for choosing to going to work – remind yourself of the money you are bringing in to the family and what you would have to do without that money.
If you are having wobbles about choosing to bottle feed, or not going down the baby led feeding route, remind yourself of the questions and arguments that went through your head before you made this decision and why you decided this was the best thing to do.
You are a wonderful parent, and you are doing a fantastic job. Don’t compare yourself to others and beat yourself up because you are not doing what they are doing. Don’t look at their social media feeds and feel like their life is so much better than yours because there is no sign of difficulties or arguments. They are there, they’re just not recorded.
Remind yourself each day to just do it your way – the way you feel is best. No one is more qualified to make decisions on behalf of your little ones as you are.
And don’t forget that! Have a little self belief and you might just surprise yourself!
What tips would you have for parents experiencing feelings of guilt or doubt about their parenting skills? How do you help yourself?
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