Obviously we all get 'mummy guilt', on different levels and to different degrees but either way it can be all consuming. If you're not yet a mummy, prepare yourself for an irrational but repetitive 'parrot like' monster that sits on your shoulder and slowly burrows into your brain, that follows you around all day errrrr day. And night too!
I thought it might be interesting and cathartic to document some of my worries and fears, not for validation but kind of like therapy. I guess I'm hoping we can support each other through our issues while having a little giggle along the way.
The guilt surfaces at the weirdest of times.
Theo has not yet been signed up to a nursery. He'll be two in November and I'm still no closer to even viewing nurseries or pre-schools. I don't want him to go. EVER. Not even to school, I don't want him to move out, I want him to sit with me forever and wipe away the dribble from my chin when I'm old and grey.
I've noticed that I feel guilty whenever he isn't with me. He can be in the most capable of hands, family that have raised multiple children, my husband, my dad, my mum, grandparents, and I always feel terrible. Like I can't deal with the idea of him being away from me, as if children should only be with their mum's. It's ridiculous, I know this, but I can't help it! I trust all those that look after Theo wholeheartedly but for some reason, I can't shake my issues!
All decisions thus far have been made selfishly. Of course, it's great for him to interact with other human beings, family members and friends that love him dearly but he's never even slept over night at my mum and dad's. Not because they don't want him, they always offer, and not because I don't need a date night out with the husband. I do!! But I just can't seem to prise myself away from him.
When we go out to parks, softplays, any environment that may contain numerous amounts of people and children I worry about him leaving my side to go and play with the fear that he may get hurt. Or that another child may do something to him that I could have prevented! My poor best friend may invite me out for a coffee date at the local soft play, time for us adults to chat about our woes and I'm screaming across from the twirly tunnel that leads to the multi-coloured ball pit. I know he's still young and he does need supervision but I can't see the light at the end of the tunnel, no pun intended.
It'll be coming up to bedtime and I'm counting down the seconds because I'm knackered and the minute his head hits the pillow and his eyes close, I worry that I didn't do enough for him that day. Did I talk to him enough or play with him? Does he have the right toys and is he being stimulated in the right way? The thoughts are endless, but what I need to remind myself is that Theo is a happy, intelligent and loved little boy! As mum's we're all doing our absolute best, even though our best may not feel good enough sometimes.
I constantly feel guilty that I haven't fed him enough fruit/vegetables/dairy/protein. Anything food related and I can become a quibbling mess under the table! The poor kid can't move for being so full and I'm shoving another chunk of perfectly spiced avocado down his throat. I rarely give him things that are considered 'bad' for him but for whatever reason, I'm judging my standards based on the parrot/monster's expectations.
Sometimes I feel guilty that he's in his own bed, tucked up, happy and comfortable but alone. Well how can I be in here with my bed companion (hubby of course) and he's in there, all on his Jack Jones? So I'll creep in, grab the poor kid out from his warm, squidgy pit and dump him in our bed, confined to the space 'in between us'. Theo doesn't even make it to his own bed on occasions, I'll bath him and put him in my bed ready for a snuggle with mummy whenever I need it.
What I take away from all of this is that my issues with leaving Theo probably run deeper. My family and friends will tell you that I hate being on my own. He is my best friend, my confidant, a piece of me that I never want to 'misplace' and as a tear runs down my cheek, I often realise that I mustn't project these thoughts and feelings onto him. That despite how I may feel, I'm going to have to bite the bullet and let him go to play dates, parties, sleep overs and bloody school.
I've looked into home schooling and I've realised that I no longer remember how to do BODMAS, that they've changed how you add stuff together, I never read Jane Austen and that I don't have enough funding for a bunsen burner.
What are your feelings about guilt? When do you feel at your worst? In a morbidly curious way, I'd love to know. I guess, to make me feel that little less crazy!
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Bye for now x