When I speak to other Mummies I often find we end up on the topic of Guilt. With many mum's agonising (myself included) about decisions we make that effect our children and ourselves.
One of the biggest things I come across is feeling that guilt when we want something for ourselves. It could be a simple haircut ("oh but the kids need this or that") or wanting to even better ourselves with furthering our education or even going back to work to further our career which we may have spent 10years working on.
Why do we feel this guilt? I think because we all deep down inside carry an 'ideal' of what a mother should be. The perfect Stay at home mum whose children play happily while she keeps a perfect home and her make up and hair is flawless and has a body die to for. Not to mention her children are always well behaved (Yeah right) Go to bed without an argument, get fab grades in school and the list goes on and on! Not to mention the media who are so quick to blame the parents as soon as the child mucks up.
I believe as parents we want the ABSOLUTE BEST for them. We want to be there for every scraped knee, fall, trip. We also want to be there for the great moments too the moments of triumph and joy. The first steps and first smiles. We feel bad if we have to go back to work and miss these things. So how do we balance the guilt and the love?
My mum answered this question for me when I asked her? You can only do the best you can do with what you have at the time and if you have to work you must take pride in the fact you are providing for your family. You have to sometimes shut out that little guilt monster out of your mind and not let it win because you can end up doing things, (like buying things or letting them get away with bad behaviour because your not around all the time and you don't want the time you are spending with them to be bad) which are far more detrimental in the long term than a time out or just time with mummy or daddy kicking the ball around.
Balancing love and guilt is a bloody hard thing and not always easy to decipher between the emotions. I'm finding out the hard way by being in the middle of something with dd1 and giving in and then thinking I gave in because I feel guilty about losing my temper and yelling at her when I probably could have handled the situation better. Sometimes I feel as if I am between a rock and a hard place. (sigh)
I think us parents need to know that we are doing our best and we are giving them the best and that is unconditional love and our time. Remember that guilt is a useless emotion and (try) aimed at me) to not let it win too often.