Guilt trip is a real thing. Sometimes it lingers for a few days or weeks. Sometimes it pops out of nowhere without prior notification of disrupting your own beliefs in parenting. Most often you strongly believe you have failed and try to convince yourself that you haven’t; that you do the best you can; others give words of encouragement and/or you read some sort of uplifting post or article. But there will always be that little voice making you doubt yourself.
Like today for example, it is one of those days. Bunny has been in school now for more than a week and everyday I’d try to hear from him what he learned, what he did, who he played with and so on. It’s not a checkup, it’s genuine curiosity and interest. But no. I just get a “it was fine” or a “stop asking me” response. No matter how I ask the question. I’ve even changed the timings and way of asking the questions so as not to seem like an interrogation. But to no avail. And yet, before bedtime, he will insist that Daddy comes and listens to everything he did, in so many details. When I want to listen too, I get told no, only Daddy. (So now I hide behind the wall.)
Or how about the time when Bunny started solids at around 6 months and I chose to do Baby Led Weaning. You know, the method to help babies and children to like all types of food for the rest of their lives… or at least, that’s what I thought and read. And now? It’s a daily struggle, begging, negotiating and blackmail to get him to eat anything. Yes, even his favorite meal.
And let’s not forget the no screen-time before age 2. After that, it was in short periods, once or twice a week and increasing slightly according to his age. Result currently? A complete TV addict where you are guaranteed the biggest tantrum in the history of tantrums if you try switch it off. (Great bargaining tool for not eating though.)
Send him to a Montessori nursery school, which I still think is great as it goes according to the child’s learning pace and gives the child options to choose what they want to learn/do for the day/hour. And now I sit with a child who’d ask me everyday to play cars and dinosaurs with him cause he just cannot play by himself.
No sugar and treats before the age of 2 and even after that, really just on occasions. Now? A sweets-chocolate-cookie-ice-cream-lover that will probably sell his right kidney for a bowl of ice cream.
It really dampers the mood and lovey-dovey feeling of being a parent. You do what you think is best for your child, at that moment and
most some of the times it comes bite you right in the arse. I know in some areas I’m doing well (only because of the compliments I do receive); some areas I doubt myself and others I just know I’m stuffing it all up royally.
I know failing is part of learning too. I know that as a parent, there is no manual that comes with, once the baby is out. I know that, especially with the first, it is very trial and error. So from now on, I’m going to see all my “fails” as a new lesson learnt. I’m obviously still learning.
So next time you see a tired, dark eyed, frizzled hair mommy out and about with kids, just stop a minute and acknowledge them on one good thing; even if it is just that the child is screaming “PLEASE” for a new toy or sweet; at least manners have sunk into the child’s vocabulary, somehow. That simple validation can mean the world to that mom and be a right pick-me-upper!