I am not feeling good. I’m slowed down, unmotivated, and fed up. The weight of what I need to do every day is crushing me, and when a few other stressors are thrown in on top of that? I don’t want to move. I want to hide behind this screen, play with photos and just be left alone. I don’t want to do what I need to do and right now I’m not sure how to make myself do it. The guilt that’s going along with all of this is unbearable, I actually feel sick. My kids are on holidays from school, and I’m so busy thinking about and berating myself for what I ‘should’ be doing with/for them that I’m actually doing nothing.

This guilt isn’t new. It’s something I’ve always struggled with but is being amplified 1000% right now because I feel like I’m not doing right by my kids. They’ve spent the morning watching TV, as I suspect one or two other kids have done as well. They’re absolutely fine. But Bitchface is telling me I’m pretty much the worst mother in the history of time for letting them do this. As I’ve been sitting here, I’ve been thinking about the other things that really need to happen at this point – I can’t put off cleaning bathrooms for much longer. Clothes need washing and sorting. Dogs need walking. You know, basic, normal, every day stuff. But not acceptable because it means my kids will need to entertain themselves.

How did I ever manage to come to the conclusion that my kids need me 24/7? Or that it would be good for them to have me available all the time? I didn’t read a whole lot of parenting books when they were babies, but those I did emphasised the need for attachment parenting, how important it is for kids to be with a parent as much as possible, ideally not even going into childcare till they’re 3, how much they need my time…………..Borderline me has gone into overdrive on this one. I remember feck all from when I was a kid but I can’t imagine my folks were round the clock entertainers. I’ve had therapists, friends, family, other parents all assure me that my kids are doing fine, that I’m a good mom, that it’s ok for them to spend time alone, it’s ok for them to learn to manage their own boredom. I see other kids playing outside all the time and I think it’s fantastic. I go to friend’s houses and we sit and have tea while the kids keep each other company. That’s also fantastic. So why can I not apply it to me and my kids? Why do I have these impossibly high standards for myself? It’s absolutely crippling me.

 

This article has 5 Comments

  1. Fiona you really don’t need to be that hard on yourself. Your kids will be find. Its important that kids can play on their own and not have to be entertained 24/7, its even good for them to be bored! You are no different than any of us, we’ve all sat them in front of the TV when we’re having a bad day!!
    Its a dry day for a change so get out of the house for even a short stroll with the kids and the dogs and hopefully things will look better when you get back, the house will be fine, don’t stress over the housework!! Mind yourself xx

  2. It’s very raw to read about your struggles as they are happening. It’s too easy to be hard on ourselves as parents, sometimes I look at mine and remind myself that at their age I spent most of my time out playing with friends. I want my kids to know that I always love them and are there for them when they need me but it is nice to see then developing their independent selves too.

  3. And I think that the weight of everything we need to do can sometimes get to anybody, let alone when you are unwell and having to face things. I’m resisting the urge to spout a cliche but I expect somewhere in you is the voice that knows the truth, it’s just drowned out by that other voice at the moment.

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