Before I had Sonny Jim, guilt was something I felt every once in a while.
You know, when a hangover meant that I wasn’t on great form at lunch with my folks. Or when I realised it was my BFF’s birthday and her pressie was still on my table. Not posted and on her doorstep as it should be.
Since having a baby though, it seems as well as delivering a 7lb 6.5oz boy, I also birthed mummy guilt.
No one warned me that along with the sleepless nights, the teething and the unimaginable love, there would be this never-ending fear of not being good enough.
Honestly, it’s incessant. On a daily basis I’m feeling guilty because…
I couldn’t breastfeed.
I didn’t introduce formula soon enough.
I haven’t spent enough time outside with my boy.
I haven’t spent enough time inside cuddling my boy.
I’m too strict with routine.
I’m too soft
I let him co-sleep too quickly when he won’t settle in the cot.
I spend too long trying to get him back in his cot instead of putting him in bed with us.
I get to stay home with my boy and other mothers aren’t as lucky.
I moaned about him not sleeping when other people have actual poorly babies.
I said “f***” when he woke up for the third time.
I let him have chocolate.
I hid chocolate from him so as I could eat it.
Literally anything can – and will – turn into something to feel guilty about.
However, after 19 months of this mothering malarkey I’ve come to the conclusion that mama guilt is a good thing. It means that I’m still – despite no sleep and burgeoning toddler tantrums (I thought they started at two?!) – striving to be the best mummy I can.
The guilt would go, I guess, if I stopped caring. And that is something I hope NEVER happens.
Besides, I’m quietly confident I’m not the only mother feeling this way…