And occasionally some short lived contrition for being mad at my husband purely because he’s not Harry Styles.
When I have the emotional space for indulging myself in other forms of conscience harassment however, it’s pretty much always reserved for the phrase pre-parent me would have routinely rolled my eyes at; mummy guilt.
Despite what I may have thought when I was footloose and [in]fancy free, this shit is real!
I felt guilty before my twins were even born. I read something [there was my first mistake] about how, ideally, a foetus will have the womb all to itself to properly thrive…cue much self berating and eating away of my feelings; “I ovulated two eggs, I am already the worst parent evah!!! Ovaries blah blah uterus blah blah I fail motherhood” etc etc. And that was just the start; yep, pack your [hospital] bags people, we’s a goin’ on a guilt trip!
I have it on good authority that I’m not alone here. And not only from all the other parents I know personally who appear to experience the same soul destroying guilt as I do about how they parent and the decisions they make, but also with actual statistics that probably belong on graphs attached to clipboards carried by people who look important.
According to a recent SmarTrike survey of 1,000 Aussie parents, 80% feel some sort of guilt when it comes to how they’re raising their junior humans. Yep. I did research. I know right? #legit #knowledgeable please don’t expect this to become a regular thing.
Of those surveyed the results weren’t altogether surprising;
34% say they feel most guilty about the rate of their child’s development
*raises hand* been there, done that, plotted the graph.
NB: Einstein didn’t speak until he was four years old [see that there][more research] and he turned out alright [I assume?][research quota full] aside for all the maths stuff. I wonder if his mum sat in mothers group feeling like a failure and wishing she’d played little Bertie more baby Mozart CDs or read him Shakespearean sonnets in utero.
21% feel guilt over the products they purchase for their children
Ugly plastic Frozen dresses perhaps? Just putting it out there… 😳
19% feel guilty about the time they spend playing or exercising with their children
I mean, I don’t know about anyone else but I hate it when I play with my kids for three hours and it turns out it’s only been fifteen minutes. 😂 [e’rrrry time]
And it doesn’t stop there…
Sleep, food, going back to work [or not], having another child [or not], yelling, bribery, formula [aka razor shavings mixed with trace elements of rusty nail heads…or so I’m lead to believe], having a car seat facing forward…EVER, not being prepared to undertake the lifelong commitment that is allowing glitter into your home, forcing your children to listen to One Direction [just kidding][I don’t feel guilty about that at all], convincing the young impressionables that things in packets the colour [of Cadbury chocolate] purple are only for adults – so many parental decisions, so many opportunities to scar them 4lyfe.
Parenting guilt is a universal burden that even the best of us are afflicted with from time to time, because we give a shit! Feeling guilty is kind of just the flip side of caring, so it’s not all bad.
I might not have the answer to mummy guilt [except perhaps renaming it “mummy giving a shit” which doesn’t sound nearly so bad] but I do have something free and awesome to give away and that’s almost as good right??
In a bid to tackle the top three guilt inducers highlighted by the SmarTrike survey, and to celebrate getting out and enjoying mum life with your kids instead of sitting around feeling bad about stuff you might [but also might NOT] have messed up, I’m giving away a SmarTrike 5-trikes-in-1 explorer.
Head to my Instagram for details on how to win!
And when in doubt, try to remember, as one wise anonymous genius once said in a viral internet meme “behind every great kid is a mum who’s pretty sure she’s screwing it up”. So, as they say in the classics;