Embracing a Healthy Family: Parental Guilt

Parental Guilt

I find myself at various times but mostly late at night or very early in the morning contemplating how I should do this or shouldn't do that.  I don't have very much time with no one wanting something to eat, something to drink, help with this or help with that or being the referee that is needed in a house with more than one child.  I'm not complaining at all because my children have been the greatest gift of my life.  In fact, on my birthday, I thank my parents for me because without me, I wouldn't have them.  I was watching television and there was a spot on a classical musician and I had feelings of guilt because I don't take my children to see events such as that.

Recently, Dora was in town and again, I felt guilt for not taking them.  I had a hard time justifying such high tickets prices in the nose bleed section so we didn't go.  I often think of the missed opportunities where I opt to stay home and wonder what a bad parent I am.  I hear of these parents who have a daily schedule of activities for their kids and mine have a whopping zero.  I feel guilt.

I wonder how much of the guilt is legitimate to hold and harbor or am I just one of those people who can't ever feel complete because I don't ever feel I'm the best I could be.  I think back to my childhood and how we didn't do anything either and I turned out alright.  Did that affect me?  I think so to an extent as I'm not a social animal so I've heard a few times anywhere from ex's to in-laws.  The little voice inside me reminds me that it's okay to not be that one person who can have no strangers in their lives or the one person that is wrapped up into numerous events outside the home.  I have to remind myself that when I look at my children, they are happy and they love me more than anyone.

Our society increases parental guilt in my opinion.  We are held up to a standard on what celebrity moms do or what television show moms do but at the end of the day, that is just a mere glimpse and is not the full picture.  The average mom doesn't have a personal trainer, a personal chef, a house keeper and a personal assistant.  It's hard being a mom today and yes, it probably has always been hard being a mom if you want to compare it to two generations and more ago, we have it made but things were different.  Today's mom works, takes care of the house, the children, the bills, the errands and everything in between.  We have a lot on our plate and with that comes lots of guilt.

Lots of guilt if we let it.  IF we let it.  I catch myself beating myself up for not being everything to everyone and luckily, I can shrug it off at times and at other times, I give myself a break and acknowledge that 'hey, I'm not perfect.'  Guilt ... so much to live with but at the end of the day, I look at my children and know I'm doing something right because they are happy, healthy (relatively speaking as they have chronic medical conditions) and they love me by telling me frequently that I'm the best mom ever.

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Michelle {Fun On A Dime} said...

Say NO to guilt! lol You are doing the best you can with what you have. In the end, what your kiddos are going to remember the most is the time you spent with them. There is no reason to feel guilt for that.

Ruthie J. said...

One of the greatest gifts that you can give your children, besides love, is your time. You give both in spades. That's what they will remember when their grown, not that they didn't get to go see Dora every time she came into town. :) Hugs

Judy Joyce said...

Thank you, Michelle! It's so easy to get wrapped up in what you may not be doing right but at the end, you are right, focusing on the good is best!

Thanks, Ruthie! I agree! Time is more than anything but it still doesn't take away all the guilt. I guess that's good since it keeps one on their toes! Hugs!

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