Son Hugging a dad feeling guilty

3 Minutes read

All of us have that guilty feeling from time to time and yet it’s the most wasted emotion of all. We can’t take back words or actions, no matter how hard we try.

The not so perfect parent

If you are a parent, guilt seems to be present even more. This useless feeling is a universal experience.
Why does the “guilt trip” seem to be an expanding issue?
I believe the answer to to be a few things:
(1) more and more women are working and becoming the main bread winner.
(2) single-parenting is on the rise, and
(3) There are so many books written on how to be a perfect parent.
The first two things I mentioned will sometimes keep you from spending time with your kids. Having spent a lot of time working myself and not seeing my kids, I’ve always believed in quality, not quantity.

How to be a good parent

It always makes me quiver when I see headlines that say “how to be a perfect parent” or “how to raise the perfect child”. Don’t get me wrong here, there are some really fantastic books and articles that have been written about child-rearing. I’ve read a few too! I’m sure they are helpful to some people.

The point I’m trying to make is; there just seems to be a lot of pressure to be a “good parent.” We certainly should all strive to be the best parent we can be. But also, remember that you have your own instinct that tells you what’s best for you and your child. Just because it works for Andy doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for Leanne. If in doubt, follow your heart!

instinct quote

Define a “good” parent…? Someone who loves their child unconditionally? or the parent who works tirelessly to provide for their family? or the parent who hasn’t got much at all, but does his or her best to raise their child as best they can? I don’t care what people say, there is no definition of a “good parent”.

Worried about being perfect?

Guess What? When you are not perfect, you are letting your kid know that you are human. No one is infallible.

If you’re worried about being the perfect parent. Think about the person who brought you up? Were they perfect? Do you still love them now?
Children can tell if they are loved. They don’t measure it by how many hours are spent with them or if you were a little tired one day and lost your chill. It’s definitely not measured by how much money you can spend on them. One of my biggest bugbears is seeing kids being showered with materialistic items in the hope the parent will receive something back. You won’t.

Your child knows your not perfect

Believe it or not. Your kid already knows that you’re not perfect. They also know how much you love them, and sometimes use that to their advantage. You can’t fool a child. They are the most honest people on this planet. Remember when the whole family was round and they made that really embarrassing comment about Aunty Ethel?? Believe me, they are honest and brutal and will forgive your mistakes. So forgive yourself. No one has ever been a perfect parent…ever.

So, chill out. Some day your child will be telling a story…”remember when Mam/Dad did……….”

20 thoughts on “That guilty feeling

  1. Well said. As parents we are all winging this (like our parents did before us). But we can all be good to ourselves about it. Oh, I dread to think what my lot will say in the future about what I I’ve said .

  2. An old family joke is “now I’m out of the running for Mom of the Year!”. I really liked your point there is no perfect parents. If we don’t fail and pick ourselves up, how will our children learn to do so?

    1. Thanks for your comment Lorie. Indeed, if we wrap our kids in cotton wool and try to be a ‘perfect’ parent (fake parent) they’ll never learn.

  3. Lovely post and I have to agree that children are the most honest individuals you will ever meet. They know we aren’t perfect, but they love us unconditionally and look up to us. All we can do is be the best version of ourselves and teach them valuable lessons along the way. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thankyou for writing this. I am terrible for suffering from human guilt all the time anyway (I am still plagued by small mistakes I made twenty years ago and always feel guilty – no idea how to let them go!) So add mom guilt Into the mix and I’m a wreck most of the time!
    It’s good to read others worry too and that actually we should stop comparing ourselves to others and just love our children however we do (and boy do I love my little monkey) it’s something I will keep working on!!

  5. Well said, Damion! There’s no point in striving for perfection as it simply cannot be achieved. Whenever I feel the pull of parental guilt I always try to remind myself that good enough really is good enough. And, as you say, kids are brilliant judges of character and know you’re not perfect but are doing your best.

  6. I’m not a parent yet but my mum has spoken about mum guilt a lot. This post is really insightful and has opened my mind to how parents and people are!

    Rosie

  7. I agree. I’m not a parent yet, but I understand the frustration parents feel when they compare themselves to other parents or when they assume that they’re harming their child in a way. I think there’s a scientific term for that I just forgot lol. Good post!

  8. Oh good grief. Never try to be the perfect parent! It’s the road to ruin. I think many parents worry about being judged by other mums and dads so try to be perfect. All you’re doing is putting yourself under imense stress.

  9. Great read Damion. Many compare themselves with others too which triggers the feeling of guilt that you could do more or do things differently. As I see it, as long as your child knows how much you love them and cherishes the time spent together thats the main thing, nobody is perfect, we all have flaws and is what makes us human.

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