As you wake up to breakfast in bed, handmade cards, craft and drawings, the precious gift of an “I love you Mum’ mug with hot chocolate and a marshmallow from the Mother’s Day stall not to mention an obligatory new pair of slippers, it’s hard not to feel grateful.
And I am, and I will be on Sunday.
But I’m still missing the gift I want the most and I’m the only one who can give it to myself – freedom from mother’s guilt.
Before you choke on your cup of hot choc with marshmallow in your new mug, I’m not that stupid or fanciful to believe that a total absence of guilt is possible. And a little bit of guilt is a good thing.
What I want is an absence of that gnawing, gnashing guilt, the kind that eats out the pit of your stomach leaving you feeling sick all the time. I want to stop carrying my shame around like a shadow.
I reckon in the absence of that kind of guilt we can find peace and joy.
This time a couple of years ago I wrote in one of my early posts about having the ‘guilt gene’, and I do think I feel guilty more than most, for all sorts of irrational reasons that I’m still reigning in. But there are some rational ones too.
What do I have to feel bad about – plenty!
- I’ve been letting that horrible word ‘HATE’ sneak into my vocabulary, which is hypocritical when I tell the kids not to use it and I really do ‘HATE’ it!
- I’ve been getting frustrated at our Little Yang over his learning challenges and then feeling this (imagine Thumbelina) small.
- I stomp around the house, barking orders at kids who seem never to follow them, making Miss Yin feel Thumbelina small for not being more mature and leading her brother by better example (hello, what sort of example am I setting).
- I’m back from two blissful nights away with hubby (and from kids) last week and I’m already barking at him too, and belittling his efforts to instil some sort of order into our household.
- A few weeks ago I started a 5 day e-course by Anna Partridge “How to Yell Less and Enjoy your Kids More: 5 days to becoming more Positive Parent”. I’d said to Anna that I’d do the course and review it for her, but then I had some technical issues, got really busy at work before going away on a girl’s mini-cruise, went on the cruise, got back and got busy the next week with work and kids and because I was having a few days off last week for our 20th wedding anniversary! So almost a month has passed and I’m still yet to finish the five day course (I’m up to day four!) – too busy to do a course to help me stop yelling at my kids and enjoy them more! (sorry kids, sorry Anna).
The lovely Bron, Maxabella Loves, posted this week about ‘when parenting feels too hard’ and she was full of honesty about how much it sucks, and inspiration about how to make it better.
I feel like I’m stuck on the ‘it sucks’ bit – and it’s Mother’s Day, which makes that feel all kinds of wrong. How can I possibly feel like parenting sucks at this time of year in particular, when I have so much to be grateful for (and when I’m parenting ‘someone else’s children’). Opps guilty, big time.
I’m waiting for inspiration to make things better.
I do know I won’t find inspiration to be a better mum in being endlessly guilty about the mum I already am. You won’t either..
I’m following Bron’s advice with a fresh clean-out first – because that makes things feel more under control, and then I can relax with a cuppa on Mother’s day and enjoy the kids, sans guilt.
(Oh and did I mention yoga)!
Happy Mother’s Day. How are you faring in getting rid of mother guilt?