How do we live with the guilt?

How do we live with the guilt?

We all know that being a parent comes with a mahoussive load of guilt. I remember being sat in my Ante Natal Class, pregnant with my first child and being told that when we bring our babies home we also bring home a big ol’ bag of guilt. I didn’t understand this, I couldn’t understand this. What would I possible have to feel guilty about? Turns out, everything.

I have read my fair share of posts about mummy guilt and how we need to let it go and give ourselves a break and we should. The only thing is, how do we? How do we stop feeling something?

I read a wonderful post by Petite Pudding about how what our kids really need is to feel loved and safe. This is really spot on, true and I know she is right. Yet I still seem to be giving myself a hard time.

A hard time if I don’t make sure we get out of the house at least once a day, usually more. If they don’t have something semi nutritious to eat or if they spend too much time in front of a screen.

Last weekend my Nan was came to visit, readers will know how helpful and treasured Nanny Pat is to me. Her stay gave me the chance to get things done, The car, the floors, the beds, the bathrooms, the clothes even the garage got emptied and I went to the tip. The house underwent its annual, and much-needed, clean. All this was done with two moany clingy babies following me round whingeing at my ankles.

I was getting stressed by this. Stressed at them.

When actually I shouldn’t be.

It really is no wonder the kids were moaning, they were bored and they wanted my attention. For them tidying and cleaning is boring. Yet this stuff really had to get done. So what do you do? Although I try to avoid it (before you say anything Mr Tammy), cleaning is a necessity, one that my kids have no time for.

I felt cleansed at the clean and lighter house but I felt guilty. I felt guilty for not spending the day entertaining and stimulating  my babies. Putting these thoughts into words makes it sound a little silly, yet, I felt it.

Today was worse.

My usually happy well-behaved daughter had the devil in her. She did the exact opposite of everything I asked her. She ignored me, she sat on the pavement in protest at any request that came her way. She did not listen to a word I said.

zara having a strop

This made me mad. There are only so many times one can say the same thing over and over. I turned into shouty mum, talk to her on her level mum, going to lock the bathroom door with a my trusty friend Mr Sauvigan Blanc mum. I went through all the motions today.

Now sat reflecting on this, thinking about the day. I feel flat and yep you guessed it, guilty. Guilty for what feels like spending most of my day nagging my two-year old.

Then there is the worst of the guilt, the biggy – I worry that I am actually messing it all up and one day they’ll see through it.

So my question is how do you let this go? How do I not feel this guilt? I can’t help it, it is a feeling and I don’t know how to un-feel it. Do you?

This post was originally posted on the Huffington Post 

My Petit Canard


  1. September 25, 2016 / 6:49 pm

    I know where you’re coming from – I get the guilt all the time too, especially related to TV- watching. The Popple has been feeling poorly, so I let her watch more TV than normal, but I couldn’t help but think – is this going to stunt her development? Am I messing her up right now? I haven’t worked out how to let it go just yet – I’m hoping that I’ll figure it out along the way.

  2. September 25, 2016 / 6:50 pm

    I wish I had the answer – in fact it actually highlighted how much guilt I feel, making sure she has her 5 a day, cooking twice a day, making sure she goes out. It’s so much pressure…I have no answer lol my gosh they need to invent a mummy guilt free holiday!

  3. September 25, 2016 / 10:35 pm

    Ah Sarah, this is something that will resonate with so many parents. But you are a brilliant mum. I just read Zoe’s post and I always try to remember the ‘good enough’ parenting rule, too. Admittedly I think it’s easier the younger your kids are and obviously I only have one but it’s true – are they fed, safe, warm, comforted, happy (in general) … and if they are then I don’t worry too much that I haven’t done loads of crafts and sensory play. But once that guilt gets hold of you I’m not sure how you let it go! Let me know if you get the answer xx

  4. October 3, 2016 / 9:10 am

    I feel exactly the same almost every night – and every morning I wake up determined to do better and determined to react better to things – but it never seems to work, and the guilt comes flooding back over night. I hate when I don’t have time for the kids or the house or my work – I never seem to have enough time for anything! But ultimately as long as the kids feel loved and cherished I hope I’m doing an OK job!

  5. October 3, 2016 / 10:10 am

    Guilt is such a big issue for mothers. It is a function of trying to do our best. I wrote two in-depth posts about guilt from a psychological point on my blog a while back if you are interested. Just search guilt. I don’t think there is a total solution but I do think we can ease it by understanding it and a lot of self kindness.

  6. October 3, 2016 / 10:12 am

    No sorry, #marvmondays

  7. October 3, 2016 / 8:38 pm

    I wish I had some amazing words of wisdom to offer but I’m afraid I’m in the same boat. I guess the on,y comfort is that you are not alone in your feelings and the very fact that we feel this guilt is evidence of just how much we love them, if we didn’t we wouldn’t care x

  8. October 7, 2016 / 8:23 am

    We can’t all be perfect mum all the time- only last night I was fed up and stomped off upstairs! And kids know how to test our patience don’t they. Hurrah for wine! Thanks for joining us for #marvmondays