Do you spend a lot of your time as a parent feeling guilty about something?
If so you are not alone, it is very common. It may be other people who make you feel guilty, but more often than not it will be pressure that you are putting on yourself.
Here are some examples of things parents I have worked with have told me they feel guilty about:
Working too much and not spending enough time with the children.
Spending time with the children when you should be working.
Being late for the pick up from nursery because you got held up at work.
Using screens as a babysitter.
Shouting at the children.
Secretly preferring being at work than with the kids.
Being rubbish at making fancy dress costumes.
Serving up fast food and microwave meals.
Not spending enough time with your partner.
Knowing you are inconsistent but still being inconsistent.
Arguing in front of the children.
Having a messy house.
Losing your temper.
Giving in all the time.
And so the list goes on. Guilt and being a parent seem to go together.
Try putting things in perspective though, by taking one thing at a time and analysing it in an objective way if you can.
Make a list of all the things you feel guilty about and cross off as many as you can.
Take‘ having a messy house’ for example…
Doing the housework may be very important to you because you can’t function in a messy environment, or it might be one of the things that you can let go of feeling guilty about. If so, cross it off!
‘Being tetchy’ might depend on how often you feel like this. If only now and then, it can be scrubbed off the list. If on a daily basis, then maybe you are not getting all your needs met, is there something you can do about that?
What about ‘secretly preferring being at work than with the kids?’
This may be the case for whatever reason, but is feeling guilty about it helpful?
No? then cross it off. You get the idea.
Hopefully this exercise will reduce the list of things you feel guilty about to none, or an absolute minimum.
Too much guilt can sometimes become overwhelming, let some of it go.