When I was about 14, I ‘borrowed’ my nanas foundation creme she used. It slipped into my bag somehow and was never returned… Clearly it was me, as she only had one jar and I was the only grandchild around at the time. She never said anything. I never used it once it got home, it just sat guiltily in my drawer until I had a clean out and threw it away. I had the guilts of doing something wrong, which of course I had! It was morally wrong! I’m not a klepto, just FYI.
Over the last while, I’ve been volunteering at a new Mums course. One thing that has commonly popped up is the guilts. The parenting guilts. The mumma guilts. The guilts of not doing things ‘right’. The guilts of not being able to use everybodies advice and not offend them. The guilts of not being able to say no to the smelly strange lady who wants to coo all in babies face and hold them. The guilts of just feeling you aren’t doing a good enough job.
But what is a good enough job? Providing them with labeled clothing? Dragging them around to every baby activity possible? Having the most and coolest gadgets to entertain them? Forcing them into a sleep pattern so far from what is natural for newbies to the world just for them to sleep more hours than ya neighbours whilst you are personally going insane? Placing unnecessary pressure on yourself to breastfeed because thats what your told to do is best, yet suffering PND?Having a banging body 2 weeks post birth whilst maintaining a well kept home, mind and image?
Is your child nourished? Are they clean-ish (by this I mean no soiled nappies for days on end…I read a story of neglect recently that make me spew in my mouth) Are they interacted with? Warm? Are they so loved it’s ridiculous delirium for all.
Yes? Good enough job parent! High 5! No guilts should exist in your vocabulary. Erase the ugly word guilty.
Often it’s outside advice or influence that can make us feel guilty. People who have those 1% babies who sleep at the click of their perfectly manicured mumma fingers. Those ones who dont cry. Ever. The ones who are just chilled. Which makes us question well hang on, what am I doing that’s not right? Why isn’t MY child doing that? What am I guilty of to cause this? Thus begins the guilts…
This can also work on reverse too. Those mummas who have these strange 1% kids also feel guilty whilst talking to friends about it, knowing it’s the opposite for their friends. Knowing too well it could be different. They don’t want to shout it out or they risk coming across as a dick. So they feel guilty. And keep it in.
So don’t feel guilty in that case . Or any case. Maybe empathetic. Maybe say, “yeah they do x y z but it’s a fluke. It’s nothing I’m doing (it might be, but your mate doesn’t need to hear that while she’s bawling her hormone ridden eyes out), this kids just a weirdo” (A well loved weirdo of course!)
Same goes for advice given from EVERY ONE. As well meaning as it might or might not be, nod your head and say “thanks, I’ll take it on board.” And if it’s something you don’t believe will work for you AND your baby/kid and partner, don’t use it. And don’t feel bloody guilty for NOT using the piece of advice. Fack, ignore this bullshit whole blog if you like, I won’t be offended.
You won’t and shouldnt feel guilty!
AND NEVER feel you need to justify why you are doing what your doing for YOUR family, to anyone. It’s your choice, you’ve chosen what’s best for you all in that moment.
The old saying, which I’ve mentioned before. Is it safe? Does it work for you and your family? Yes yes fucking yes!! Then carry on.
March on beautifully strong mumma, with your messy bun head held high, shoving those 2 chewed down-chipped nail polished fingers in the air, wave them at the face of GUILT.
You are doing enough. You are enough.
My nana passed away about 10 years after the misplaced foundation. The strangest thing I did while in the funeral room alone with her, was to apologize for the stolen foundation. I had done something naughty and wrong and I felt like I needed to amend it with her, which is pretty weird, ’cause she was dead (love you mana). I had carried that naughty guiltiness with me til it was too late.
Now THAT is guilt.
YOU should not feel guilty for being the best you can be for your family.