Mum guilt has been setting in alot recently. It’s such a hard thing to overcome, it’s like a small seed is planted and it just gets bigger and bigger. So today I’m hashing out my feelings in the reflective post, to my children I am perfect!
Growing up wasn’t the best for me. I HATE thinking about my time at school. I felt alone through most of my teens because of how I saw the world and I really struggled with my mental health. I struggled for friends, except for a select few who I am still friends with today. This continued through school and University and I would just behave how I wanted without thinking about any of the consequences. As a grown up, I see things from a completely different perspective, but that doesn’t stop the anxiety creeping in.
When I met James and became a Mum, my life changed. Suddenly it wasn’t about me anymore and I had someone who relied upon me, a family. This became more intense when I had Arthur, but those guilty feelings I had about the choices I had made in my life started to manifest in how I thought about myself as a Mother and Wife. Was I enough? Was I doing it right? Are my children happy? Is my Husband happy? Am I protecting them enough? Am I doing it all wrong?
When I became a mother, I discovered a whole other corner of the internet dedicated to parenting. Places where you are supposed to be able to go and get help and advice but really it’s just a bunch of other parent shaming you on your parenting choices. The same with Instagram, not many people share the reality, just the perfect days out and PR packages. This is just unhealthy, no one has a perfect little life and follows every guideline to the letter. You do as a Mother, what you think is best for your kids, so why do we all pretend to be something different online?
Now, I often worry about how I handle situations with my kids, I lay awake at night replaying scenarios and wondering if I did the right thing. I am only human and I do get stressed and annoyed at times. This is healthy right? Most parents shout at their kids from time to time or have to send them to their bedroom to calm down. Maisie is growing up FAST and with that she is becoming more independent. Throughout lockdown in particular she has increasingly started to want her own privacy. Arthur is a calm but very independent toddler who enjoys playing and running around much more than sitting with his Mum on an afternoon.
This week Maisie has not been well and we had a few lovely moments cuddled up on the couch together, she came to me because I make her feel safe, because no matter what she is going through I am her Mum and she needs me. Arthur is the same, if he is upset he comes to me and holds his arms up gesturing for me to pick him up. It was in this moment this week that I realised, I am enough. To my children, I am perfect and when they need me they will definitely let me know. They won’d be kids their whole lives, so it’s important they do get their independence but know that I am always here.
They don’t care what I look like, what my clothes size is or whether I have 10000 followers on Instagram. They don’t care if we have a lazy day in our pyjamas or a day out at the park. They don’t mind if Mummy needs 10 minutes alone upstairs without them. We are a family and this is how we are.
So I guess I’m just trying to say, don’t worry about whether you are doing parenting right. Focus on your own children and your family, respond to their own needs and try not to let the internet get to you. Just remind yourself, to my children I am perfect!