This is something that’s been on my mind for a long time. We all know that as parents parental guilt is something we all feel from time to time. For me though lately it seems to creep into every day. I hit a point last week where I just had a bit of a culmination of all of the feels and I spent the majority of the day in tears.
We’ve all had times where we feel we aren’t doing enough as parents, not doing enough activities, not taking your children to enough fun places or sometimes just not being present enough. For me being a mother is the most important role in my life, I am there for my children whenever they need me, whether that is for help with schoolwork or fun stuff or to talk about any problems they have. I know this, I know in my heart that I am doing everything and probably more than I am actually capable of at this time. But to me it’s still not enough. I am not well and haven’t been for the best part of two years but the last 12 months my physical symptoms have exacerbated to a point where most days I have physical limitations on what I can do. I have gone from being someone who walks 20,000 steps daily and is a regular gym goer to someone who really struggles on days with the school run. I can’t chase my kids around like I used to or go and do fun activities like climbing walls and trampoline parks. Does this mean I am trying less? No. Do they blame me for this? Also no. My children who are wonderfully kind and empathetic totally understand my limitations. And there for me that is the problem. I don’t want them to get it. I don’t want them to say mam don’t do that you are too tired or when will your long covid go? Or spotting my grimace when I stand or walk even when I try so hard to pretend I am fine.
Life is hard, we all know this but childhood should be free and full of joy. I try my hardest to make my children’s lives as happy and wondrous as it can be. But this, this is the hardest part of parenting I have ever done.
I know I am a good mother. I support my girls emotions. I am there for them every step of the way as they navigate growing up. I need to stop putting this stupid amount of pressure on myself to be perfect, to be what I cannot be in this moment.
I am doing everything in my power to get better, yet I may not, get better that is. I may be like this for the rest of my life or it could get worse. I am still hopeful that something will change, I cannot and will not give into it.
I hope that my girls know when they are older how hard I tried for them and look back and remember a happy and loving home in spite of this illness. I hope it doesn’t define any part of their childhood and I hope they never blame me for this.
I hope that one day this burden of guilt gets lighter. I hope I learn to give myself a break. For now writing this has helped, I know others will feel the same and I hope reading this helps you know you are not alone.
I will fight for my health harder for the ones that I love than I would purely for myself. I have to be better, for them. Not just my children but for my partner who supports me and deserves more and for my parents who I know worry about me and that is unfair.
I hope this hasn’t read as a pity party because it’s not. I know the way I speak to myself in my head is important and getting these feelings out will help me move on. I am enough, even when I am not. And so are you.