There are two emotions I cannot remember feeling very often before I had children: Guilt and Anger, combined make up guilty parenting. These two emotions seem to enter my body more often than I like.
Guilt – what is there not to feel guilty about? If I over parent, I feel guilty. If I under parent, I feel guilty. If I say NO, I feel guilty. This emotion has crept into my daily life and I can’t see it leaving for a long time.
Times I feel guilty:
- When I am so busy trying to remember everything that I forget something – like picking up kids from school.
- When I pretend to listen to my kids, saying the standard ohh & really, but I am actually reading or emailing or staring into space.
- When my child misses out on a school function or birthday party because I haven’t taken enough notice of what is happening around me.
- When I say NO to something they really want to do.
When I make my children help clean the house.
- When I make the children have an early night because I need some time alone or time to blog.
- When I tell my children off for misbehaving (especially Ashlea as she rarely does) but get carried away and scream like a fisher woman.
- When I allow myself to get flustered by my kids childish behaviour.
Anger – I don’t recall ever feeling such anger growing up, except maybe fighting with my siblings. Somehow though, this emotions has crept into my life and stubbornly is here to stay. It takes a lot to get me angry, but once I’m in there, I can even scare myself.
Times I feel anger:
- When my children argue or fight and tag team over who is going next.
- When I am too tired to think straight (I’m often thinking in a curved line)
- When my husband is lazy (or maybe it’s me being OCD about cleanliness)
- When my children won’t listen to each other, or me.
- When I feel like I am the only one in the house who does anything.
- When I AM the only in the house who does anything.
Reading my lists, I realise that most of these things are ‘small stuff’ and I have been taught not to sweat the ‘small stuff’. I understand this in principle but putting into practise on a daily basis can be difficult. Breath in… breath out…
I have been struggling with one of my children in particular, struggling to control these emotions, to fight the guilty parenting. It is like I am just waiting for this child to do something, anything and I am ready to pounce. It is not fair on them (here comes the guilt) and also not fair on me. I am going to have a week, just one week of NO guilty parenting to see if I feel happier by the end of the week and if my children copy my emotional state of mind.
What emotions do you struggle with as a parent?