Parental guilt seems to be on the increase so just how much are we feeling?
Yesterday I arrived at school early. The school and pre school that my girls attend now have an open session on Tuesday afternoons where the parents can come in and see their children’s work.
Parental Guilt Just How Much are we Feeling?
As I entered the reception class room all the children were sat on the carpet quietly and I was given a seat as ‘this’ week the children were going to be putting on a show. How lovely I thought as I watched them do the three little pigs in recital fashion but with sign language as well. Afterwards one of the little boys I know well piped up and said ‘I don’t mind if my Mummy can’t come’. At that point I died a little inside and had heartache for the boy but also the Mum.
I wondered how many times my little girl has and would feel that. Especially when I need to be next door seeing her sister in pre school that week or because I am not able to get help with my 2 year old and 8 month old. Or if their mood predetermines that trying to enter a classroom of other children and asking them to behave is just going to be all too much.
Full time working parents are in an uphill struggle as work is demanding more of their time with less flexibility. Holidays which need to be pre-booked at least a year in advance. As it is many get 3 or 4 weeks holiday a year where as our children get 10.5. So herein enter the ‘guilt’.
Guilt because we were rushing our children this morning to get ready as we are on a schedule when all they wanted to do was tell us what happened when they were playing with…. or that they really want to play this game with us right now… or that actually they didn’t want to wear their school uniform (that they did have on) and have opted for… fill in the blank.
Guilt because it was a rushed goodbye at school and actually you were thinking about how you were going to try and make it on time as you know that there won’t be any parking spaces left in your usual haunt, rather than listening to what they were saying.
Guilt that you forgot that today was a take a book/toy/favourite picture to school day.
Guilt that you haven’t yet filled in the 3rd form that you have received in so many days.
Guilt that you are so tired when you get to collect them from school (because their brother or sister is still not sleeping through the night) that you are unable to retain anything they are telling you at 100mph.
Guilt that as much as you are thrilled that they are in a school play you are dreading trying to find the time to make their costume.
Guilt that although they have been at school all day, home time is just as scheduled if not more. You need to make sure they do their homework as well as you listening and helping their siblings with theirs. Making sure they eat dinner, get a bath and get ready for bed and then have a bedtime story and all before a reasonable hour so they get their quota of sleep.
The guilt is exhausting, the only saving grace is that I can guarantee that we as parents ALL feel this. We are all struggling with one part or the other. Not only is there the pressure of being a great parent but we are all meant to be doing this around working a full time job and even then that is no guarantee of being saved from feeling the pinch financially. If you are not working full time then you find yourself trying to justify why.
So, my parenting buddies if you have been feeling the pressure and guilt of late please take solace in knowing that we are too.