Thursday, January 10, 2013

Parenting: Don't Focus on the Guilt

I read this amazing article yesterday from the Huffington Post, Why You're Never Failing as a Mother.  I loved the author, Amy Morrison's, sense of humor and the truthfulness of her words.  We live in a society where we do everything ourselves.  We live in houses with just our immediate families, and we raise the kids, we work, we cook, we shuffle children to hundreds of places, and maybe if we get to it we clean the potty. 
I have a huge guilt problem, and I always have.  I tend to blame myself for everything.  When you're a parent, you feel that guilt times 1,000 or maybe even 1 million!  I was a stay-at-home Mom for Number One's first two years of life.  When I put him in daycare, he had a hard time.  I beat myself up.  I felt like I was abandoning my child.  When Number One started having issues with control, behavior, impulsiveness, I blamed myself. I told Hubby, "He wouldn't be like this if I hadn't abandoned him at the daycare when he was 2 years old."  He went from being home with me full time to being in daycare full time.  He couldn't attach himself to the teacher in his new class (and really looking back, I think she was the problem because when he moved up to the next class he was fine!).  But the thing is: I shouldn't have blamed myself. I shouldn't have beat myself up for years for thinking I could have prevented the way he turned out.  I should have looked more at what Hubby and I were doing to help him, and what we continue to do to help him succeed and cope. 

I'm a good parent.  I spend time laughing, joking, and hugging my children.  I play Headbanz with them, even when I think it's the silliest game.  I sit on the floor with Darling Daughter and name all her baby dolls, putting them down for naps and singing night-night songs to them.  I play Ninjago Spinjitzu with Number Two, pretending to fight demons and then go to the grocery store to get a cookie, because those are the things that a Ninja does! Quality time.  And honestly, that's all a child needs to grow and thrive: quality time and the ability to allow them to establish some independence. 

We live in a world that is constantly giving us negative feedback.  We live in a world that has Pinterest, where we see that some amazing mother (who probably has millions of dollars and a nanny!) has made a craft every single day with her children.  We live in a world where the news is constantly telling us how to raise our kids and how not to.  No wonder we feel like we're doing everything wrong. 

Amy Morrison's article reminded me that it's not good to beat yourself up with guilt.  You aren't Superman.  Each person can only do so much each day.  Your kids understand that.  They see that you're there for them and in the end, years from now when they're grown up, that's what they'll remember. 


  1. Reagan Bergstresser-SimpsonFebruary 10, 2013 at 5:53 AM

    Thank you!! I agree. Mommy guilt is alive and well. I was just sitting here feeling guilty I want to go out for my birthday... WHAT? I have left Kelso a handful of times other than for my work 2 days a week. You are a great mom and you know, so am I. :D

  2. You're a fantastic Mom!  Go out for your birthday and have FUN!!!


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