I read an article the other day, that actually attempted to make me feel guilty. After reading this article I reconsidered what I currently do…just a bit! It talked about mommy guilt and all of the different ways a parent can feel bad at some of the ways they choose to parent. Here were a few things that it mentioned:
1. Using TV as a babysitter. Ok, I’ll admit, Xander loves TV. Particularly Baby First’s Peek-A-Boo, Rainbow Horse and the Notekins. But I never thought of it as a babysitter. It was part of our morning routine and to relax him before bed. It makes him laugh. He full-on pays attention, smiles & chats at his favorite characters. And…I think he’s learning. For me, well I can get his breakfast ready and a cup of coffee in while he’s enjoying himself. A babysitter? No. An assistant? Perhaps. But, I don’t feel bad, nor do I think I should. My child gets a ton of outside time and so much quality time with his parents EVERY SINGLE DAY. Nope. No mommy guilt here.
2. Not being environmentally friendly. Um, if I switched to cloth diapers along with a million other women, I’d feel environmentally friendly and like I was contributing to a healthier planet. One person’s (mine) contribution to the environment by using disposable diapers cannot make me feel guilty. I recycle. I reuse plastic bags. I donate. I use animal-friendly products. I do the best I can. I’m no supermom, sorry.
3. Yelling at my little one. Yeah, this would definitely make me feel guilty. And rightfully so. My five-month old child doesn’t know any better. He’s a learning sponge right now. At this stage in Xander’s life, I would NEVER yell at him. Now, a year from now when he smears spaghetti across the walls…well, that’s a different story.
4. Feeding kids fast food. In the article I read that moms use fast food as “treats” for their kids once in awhile. I don’t think that’s anything to feel guilty about. Feeding your kids McDonald’s every day…yes. You should feel guilty. You’ll probably contribute to the obesity statistics and your child will never touch a vegetable. Oh, and by the way…you’re lazy.
There are way too many options out there, even for on-the-go moms. Even though Xander is just starting solids, I’m raising him to enjoy vegetables, fruits and trying to encourage well-balanced meals. Maybe some day I won’t have the time to cut up cucumbers and make hummus or puree fresh fruit for him for breakfast. But I’ll try my hardest to do so. And no mom should feel guilty for trying to do their best.
5. Going back to work. I felt guilty a tiny bit. The FIRST DAY. Then I realized how healthy it was for me to be doing it. I was lucky enough to only go back part-time, to a job that didn’t demand extra hours and wasn’t hugely stressful. I see it as a balance for my son. He gets to spend some extra time with Dad and is socialized with a nanny who loves to take him to the park. Everyone has different play routines for him and he doesn’t fight it. He’s a happy kid. And when he cracks that toothless grin at me when I get home, I know I didn’t make a mistake by going back to work.
I suppose to sum this up, moms…all we can do is our best. Being a mom is no easy job and it’s oftentimes accompanied by more siblings, health issues, single parenting, tight budgets and so many other things. All we can do is try and do our best. And if at the end of the day, we feel we put in 100% for our child, we’re doing a fine job.