I had a conversation with a friend yesterday who is an excellent mum. She thinks she is a rubbish mum. I have many moments in every week where I feel the same. How many of us hand on heart can say they always feel they are the best parent they can be?
If I discipline my daughter too much? I feel like a rubbish mum.
If I don’t discipline her? Others think I’m a rubbish mum.
If I give my children all of my attention.. I’m a rubbish mum as I SHOULD be encouraging solo play.
If I don’t give them enough attention ..I’m a rubbish mum as I’m neglecting their every need.
If I feed my baby purees ..I’m a rubbish mum as I’m not letting her choose her own food and therefore stopping her creative desires.. Or something like that.
If I do choose to do baby led weaning.. I’m a rubbish mum because my child could choke..not gain weight.. etc etc.
If I choose to stop breastfeeding early.. I’m a rubbish mum as children should wean themselves when they want to.
If I breastfeed past a year.. I’m a rubbish mum because well that’s just weird? Right? …. Wrong.
If I leave my children with their grandparents so I can have a night out.. I’m a rubbish mum. I shouldn’t need nights out. My children should be my life.
If I don’t leave them with others…I’m a rubbish mum. I’m coddling them.
If I am grumpy, tearful ..tired with my children.. I’m a rubbish mum – they should only ever see me as happy, smiling mum.
If I’m happy around my children all the time.. I’m a rubbish ( smug ) mum. Children have to learn to deal with emotions. Don’t they?
If I buy them treats.. They are spoilt. I’m a rubbish mum.
If I don’t buy them treats. They are deprived. I’m a rubbish mum.
I could go on and on and on. Yes I have many, many moments where I feel like an absolutely rubbish mum but the world telling us what is or isn’t right makes it so much worse. The same goes for blog posts or newspaper articles telling us the only proper way to parent.
There are many ways to parent. Yes some of them of course are wrong but mostly we all just muddle along doing things in our own way. The only right way to parent is your way. Anything else will feel forced.
I hate that I question myself. I hate that whenever Izzy looks at me with a forlorn look I ask myself if I’m the reason. I hate that I feel guilty whenever I have to tell her no or that’s she is being naughty and unfortunately she is 2years old and that happens a lot.
I hate that I get tearful when she doesn’t want to hold my hand but Daddys instead. How can a child so small cause such a reaction in me?
Luckily those moments don’t last forever.
I love that when I read to her in bed tonight afterwards she squeezed me so tightly and said thanks. Then goodnight and I love you. She was sleepy, fragile and honest. I know that during the day she will push my buttons, try to anger me occasionally and that she loves to watch for my reactions but them I catch her at the right moment when her toddler guard is down. She’s still my girl.
As I said to my friend..if I/she/you were truly a rubbish mum we wouldn’t be worried about it.