Is there a mother out there who hasn’t felt that “mom guilt” somewhere along the line? Like all moms, I carry mother guilt, but it’s more like mother regret. I don’t feel “guilty” per se – it’s not like I think I’ve done things that have been “wrong” or “very bad”.
Nor do I feel “guilty” for sending my kid to school with Marmite sandwiches, when I could have prepared a more wholesome or creative lunch like some of those Pinterest moms whip up. Rather, there have been moments of regret, where I wish I would have done things a little differently. Like going to more of my son’s cricket matches this year. Or heading back to work when my toddler was really sick, instead of staying with her and comforting her.
There are so many things that could be filed in the unwritten book of Mom Guilt, and which we already beat our weary selves over, but I’ve literally chucked them into the *&%#it bucket. I mean, most of the time these things exist in our heads only, and often there are no serious consequences to the things about which we feel so darn guilty! I’d like to think that my kids are better off with a more confident and happier mom than one who is burdened by the weight of constant guilt.
“I’d like to think that my kids are better off with a more confident and happier mom than one who is burdened by the weight of constant guilt.”
Here are just some of the things I won’t carry guilt for, nor feel bad about:
- Stopping breastfeeding at six months and 14 months respectively.
- Letting the kids eat cupcakes for breakfast and cereal for supper.
- Giving my son money for the tuckshop because I don’t feel like making anything.
- Letting my son skip baths.
- Letting my son play on his iPad.
- Letting my son stay in his pyjamas the whole day if he wants to.
- Giving my toddler spicy foods – she demands them in fact, and loves them!
- Bribed/incentivised/motivated (whichever way you want to look at it) my son to do things.
- Told white lies to save me time and money, and to look after our security. For example, “The sushi restaurant is closed” or “The park is closed right now”.
- Spending a few minutes in my car when I arrive home after work just to exhale (and scroll through Pinterest).
- Buying my kids toys or books because I couldn’t face the tantrums.
- Eating all the contents from a party pack.
- Not doing much cooking from scratch.
- Putting on kids’ TV to get a short time-out for myself.
- Forgetting to pack the library book, PT socks, money for civvies day, etc.
- Outsourcing the baking/creation of my kids’ birthday cakes.
- Leaving my kids to just be, and not fussing too much or getting worried about Every. Single. Thing.
What are the things on your guilt list, and what are the ones you’ve chosen to leave behind?
Tanya Kovarsky is a mom of two (Max, 8 and Rebecca, 1.5 years) and works by day in PR and communications, and by night as a blogger on Rattle and Mum. She loves Paris, Jelly Tots, pink things, makeup and sneakers, and running (she can tell her kids that she’s run 11 Comrades and 14 Two Oceans). She also has a personal blog, Dear Max + Rebecca.