We all experience guilt, for difference reasons and at different times. I remember how guilty I felt sending my infant to crèche so I could return to work. The guilt really starts from the word go – over feeling tired and impatient, for not sticking to the strict routine everyone says a child needs. We all feel the guilt over not being able to protect our kids from the scrapped knee or for allowing the child one last cookie which has now resulted in a tummy ache. Our limitations, whether physically, financially or emotionally becomes something that binds us.
Being a single mom, I somehow allow myself to feel a double load of guilt by trying to compensate for the absence of the father. I feel guilty when the father doesn’t notice Logan’s milestone like I would like him to or when he under-delivers on promises made.
In the end it is all horribly exhausting.
What I have realized while preparing for the New Year and its new challenges, is that only as a mother I can really relate to the anguish my mother must have felt. Now I can see that although I did not always get what I wanted, I received something so much more valuable. The ability to work for the things I want, the ability to compromise and now also the ability to teach my child these same qualities.
May we in the beginning of a new year not feel the guilt that comes with our limitations but rather the hope that comes from the lessons they teach our children.
How do you cope with your own guilt about never feeling like a good enough parent?