How to Not Feel Like a Guilty Parent

Amy

“You’ve only got 18 summers with them” and other throat-punch-worthy comments said to carers of young ones…

Have you had it up to your eyeballs with the sanctimonious guilt pushers that make comments like the ones above but put them in a fancy font and pass them around on the socials like candy at Halloween? Well, go no further my fellow conflicted carer. I’ve got your back.

Continue reading to get tips on how to push the guilt aside and go on #livingyourbestlife

The Guilt Monster.

Ok. Enough with the guilt already. Are you with me?

Made to feel guilty if you are out working? “Do you spend enough time with your kids?”

I DON’T KNOW SUSAN, BUT WHY DON’T YOU GO AND ASK JOHN HOW MUCH TIME HE IS SPENDING WITH HIS KIDS?!”

Guilty if you stay at home. “What do you do all day? Watch TV?”

“NO NANCY, NOT UNLESS YOU COUNT THE 1000 EPISODES OF PEPPA PIG I VE JUST ENDURED AT FULL VOLUME? 

 SERIOUSLY THOUGH – WHAT DON’T I DO?” 

Apart from a shower. I don’t do that. Or vacuum. You would not believe all of the things I hear happening to my kids when I turn the shower or vacuum on…. Just to find them quietly playing with toys after I had CONVINCED myself I had heard them screaming as if their own lives depended upon it.

An actual lunch break? And God forbid – an actual full night’s sleep? No, no, no. You can’t stop – there are things to do.

Those are just a few in the gluttonous Guilt Monster’s repertoire. If those are not enough then please do help yourself to a sprinkling of these – “you are not fun enough, healthy enough, thin enough, big enough, creative enough, smart enough, sexy enough (Yes! I did just write that. The pressure is real. Yummy mummy anyone? ) loud enough, quiet enough, feminist enough, feminine enough …. just simply not enough.”

Monster Bashing.

Enough Already.

Ok? 

Enough with the guilt and all the joy-sucking emotions that come with it.

Can you find time today to just pause and breathe?

I have a dear friend who writes a list at the start of each day. Now, this woman’s skill set is off the charts ‘Wonder Woman’ style. In my eyes she can do and achieve anything – and commonly does. Do you know what her magic little secret to success is? It is that on her carefully curated list there is one very attainable want and desire that is just for her. One small achievement that, once completed, exudes from within her a sense of success and well-being. The last time I was with her it was that she was going to sit down and have a cup of tea with a warm mince pie. That was enough. In the midst of life and lists that want more, more, more from her she can tick off a personal moment of victory at which no guilt monster was invited to. And do you know what the best part of this is? One small victory leads to another and another and another.

The Power of a Parent saying “Me too”.

(I am not, in this post, referring to the recent hashtag that revolutionized our ability to have a voice in the face of abuse)

Another idea is to get ahold of some friends who also battle this monster (just look around for any slightly frazzled and conflicted mother, yep, that’s her. Give her a smile. She needs any support she can get!) get her number if you don’t have it already, arrange a meet up, coffee or cocktail date, play date or spa day – whatever floats your boat.

With the way we roll with parenting we have fast learned that we need to fix a date in the calendar pronto so that a year does not fly by before we grab a minute for ourselves!

Now all you have to do is open up a little and share your parenting stories with each other – it is as easy as that. Through peals of laughter and snorts of giggles you will try and spit out the words ‘me too’! The Guilt Monster does not stand a chance against these parent rallies of solidarity. Not a bloody chance. Hearing the words ‘me too’ can reach into the very depths of our sleep-deprived souls that are whimpering in a metaphorical corner and revive them. ‘You too?! I am not the only one struggling to survive juggling this and this and this and that. As well as feeling guilty that I m not doing enough, being enough, being the best mum, wife, lover, friend, chef, hostess, teacher that I can be?! Wow! That somehow makes me feel less guilty?!

Sharing is caring folks, it is true. And on that very subject – We can even share tips for how we ‘survive’ it all, or maybe how we thrive in some areas and lack in others… and can trade insider trading secrets with each other. ( Please share fool-proof recipes with me before I poison my family, again)

My friends compliment me on my organizational prowess around the home. I like to call it ‘Mental Health Chic’. I have not devised a way around the chaos because I have some high level of style but because I like, and wish to achieve and maintain, good mental health by actually being able to say, cross a room without tripping up perhaps? Or being able to open the laundry room door … all things that keep me sane amidst the usual chaos. Be generous with these life hacks though? We all are in need of them.

Living your #bestlife.

In conclusion and to add a sense of relief to your parenting self as another summer ends –

Us parents are having a conflicted enough time trying to juggle it all (see above) and do all the things on all the days. 

Public Service Announcement: We don’t have 18 summers. We have a lifetime of them. And guess what? We’ll throw in the rest of the year for free too. How about a lifetime of memories? That’s up for grabs. It’s a free promotion that runs alongside all the summers. Comes with all the parenting/guardian/grandparenting/god parenting/friendship packages.

Actually, it comes with every package – what it doesn’t come with? 

A side of guilt. 

That’s right folks. 

No guilt. 

Completely guilt-free/shame-free. 

Guilt Monster free zone right here!

What a BARGAIN!!

Now, go enjoy the last weeks/days/moments of your summer. Whether it’s hiding in the closet with a good book, chasing little ones or being sexy AF next to a pool while passing out snacks from your cooler. You do you.

Though not the throat punching part. 

Don’t do that.

That’s assault.

And you really won’t be seeing your kids over summer or any other time. Apart from visiting hours.

If this post resonated with you we would LOVE to hear your monster-busting tips and tactics below! Or maybe share a ‘me too’ moment that will make us chuckle?

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    Amy Chadney
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