‘Parental guilt – stop punishing yourself and start commending instead’

I write this to you after a two hour lay in given generously by my husband who has also made me a bacon sarnie. Yummy.

Today’s post is all about remembering you in all the madness of pregnancy and post pregnancy antics.

I’m terrible at taking my own advice, I want to be involved all the time and run the show. I think this in part is down to the support I have been given. I have had cases of people being quite controlling. I guess it’s an attempt to fight back. Probably one of the most difficult parts of having a baby when you are in a relationship is learning how to overcome difference in how you and your partner parents or how your partner’s family operates, their protocols, beliefs, etc which will be marginally different to how you would do things. But also learning how you want to do things differently to your own family and friends.

Some days you couldn’t live without the support from family which makes the experience so much better, other days it is like sailing through a storm but knowing you’re going to be soaked. And no one likes to get soaked. At this point I want to make it very clear I am very grateful to the help I have received however each parent will want to do things a certain way and disagreements can arise which makes life difficult.

Why I am bringing this point up? I’ve been mostly on my own for the past two weeks where I have had help but I’ve been more hands on which has been incredible but also tiring and I’ve worn myself out.

I write this as a reminder to myself that you need to allow others to help you and you need to stop punishing yourself for it. Don’t get me wrong it’s not that I haven’t accepted help – that would be impossible especially going out with twin’s but every time I do, even with my own family I feel guilt that I should be doing more, I should have done that, I should be doing that. I’ll give you an example, I went to my sister’s house the other day, had got the children to sleep in her indoor prams (she has twins too), and she took them to another room to sleep. Pang. Guilt. Another example was when I was at my partner’s cousin’s house, her daughter wants her to play with her she has one of my babies in her arms and she says she can’t play rightthat second because she’s giving me a hand. Pang. Guilt I should have taken her back she has her own child who needs her.

I know in both these instances that both would say I am mad, I shouldn’t feel guilty, we want to help, happy to help, like to help but there’s an annoying part of me that feels guilty because it’s my full time job/ role to do it. I know that is crazy because nobody works 24/7, it’s healthy for your child to experience other people for a socialising aspect but also for you to rest and not do everything however parental guilt is an ugly thing that is a lingering force that I find difficult to shake off.

My mother in law is very protective of the girls which is obviously great in a lot of ways but it also can be a great bone of contention especially when it comes to their health. She is always suspicious that something is wrong. To the point where whenever she raises a concern my instinct is to dismiss it because I think she’s being a hypochondriac when actually some concerns could be valid. It leaves me then second guessing my own rational when I know 90% of the the time my instinct is right but the guilt that I experience because I could be wrong leaves me disheartened and makes me feel like I’m not doing right by ‘my’ children.

I write this post because I woke up with immense pains:

– pain from my back because I’ve let slip my Physio because of my guilt over not doing enough for children, yet if I don’t do it I’ll be doing a disservice to my children when I can’t help them because it’s gotten that much worse

– pain from my mind because I’ve slept in and missed precious moments with them and forced Daddy to up his game for a couple of hours but actually it’s good bonding time with their father and time for me to recooperate for the week ahead.

I need to stop feeling guilty. I’m doing my best. I’m doing a good job. We need to stop punishing yourself and start commending instead. Parenthood is not easy so why make it worse by letting guilt ruin the good times.

What do you think? Do you experience parent guilt? Have you any tips on how to push past it? As ever leave your comments and thoughts below.

Love B

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