Tuesday Tip: Dealing With Parental Guilt
Happy Tuesday! Well, what a day yesterday was. We had an absolutely amazing launch with over 3,000 visitors in just 24 hours! We'd just like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to everyone who shared And so to Baby, visited and bought items from our Directory and to all those who contributed to the blog and behind the scenes, we're eternally grateful! We've had so much amazingly positive feedback and we're really excited that you all love And so to Baby just as much as we do!
Now, today we have our brand new feature, our 'Tuesday Tip'. Each week we will be bringing you a (hopefully) helpful tip or piece of advice to support you in this thing we call parenting. Today's Tuesday Tip is about how to deal with parental guilt.
I decided to do our very first Tuesday Tip on how to deal with guilt because, other than sleep, it was one of the hardest things I found about becoming a parent.
Feeling guilty and being a parent go hand in hand.
As soon as your little one comes into the world you have an overwhelming feeling of anxiety about how to keep this perfect little thing safe. Soon after, this is followed by a feeling that whatever you do it will never be good enough. Right from the start there are countless areas that are primed to cause the guilt to set in. Firstly, sleep. Have you bought all the right sleeping equipment? Are they sleeping enough? Are they sleeping too much? What should they wear to bed? How many blankets should they have? Are they too hot? Are they too cold? Was that cough a sign that they are dying? Oh my gosh, they've rolled over on to their front, should I turn them over? If I turn them over will that wake them up? And so it goes on. I have just described to you about a 5 minute moment of my life when my son was born. Imagine this but constantly, it's draining. I felt like this about every thing we did: trying to breastfeed, clothing, my child's development, car seats, nappy changes, you name it, I worried about it. And because I worried I felt guilty. Nothing I was doing was perfect, therefore 'I am a bad parent' was the message I constantly had in my head. Hence the guilt.
Whether it's feeling guilty about not breastfeeding, not being around enough, trying to get them to sleep, pretty much every single thing you do you beat yourself up about not doing it right or well enough. The problem I found was that because I'd never done it before I didn't actually have a clue what I was doing. Because of this I always felt like it wasn't good enough because I wasn't an 'expert parent' (FYI I don't think this actually exists!). Top this off with the fact that any time your child cries you immediately feel like you're the worst parent ever for allowing them to be upset. All this equates to you being a guilt ridden nervous wreck which is compounded by lack of sleep, and I actually I wonder how any new parent makes it past the 3 month mark!
But there is light at the end of the tunnel. After a while you begin to realise that no-one is a perfect parent. And actually, most parents struggle. If your child is fed, housed, safe, warm and loved then you're doing an amazing job. Rather than wasting time or energy feeling guilty, just accept: you are doing a great job
So today's Tuesday Tip is: Forget about guilt, focus on what you are doing well
You'll enjoy parenting much more if you allow yourself to not be perfect but to be exactly what your child needs - their mummy or daddy.