Mother’s Guilt: Lauren Riddell: 31st January 2019
I think this will resonate with many other parents when I say… I feel guilty all the time! I have a highly active 8 year old who is at a different sports club 5 nights of the week and an 11 month old who is very mobile, very gorgeous and has a particular interest in plug sockets, sharp edges and finding hidden bottles of zoflora….I love him more than anything else but HE IS EXHAUSTING ME!
I feel guilty that I don’t spend all my day adding food colouring to spaghetti just for it to be flung around and stain the wallpaper, and I feel both terrible and relieved that my 8 year old has given up asking me to make slime with her. I do what I can to spend quality time with them but I work full time too, this is the part I struggle with, admitting that I chose to do something else that doesn’t centre around them. Most of the time I’m exhuasted from work, I swear my daughter thinks I’m about 85 and, at all times, Baby Shark is playing, faintly, from at least 2 rooms in my house.
I barely socialise without my kids any more, any time I do, I just miss them, feel guilty for being without them and I make up some bullshit excuse and make tracks. “I bet she’s fun at parties”……..you’re right I am…..1st birthday parties.
So now, my “me time” only ever amounts to a quiet cup of tea or a Facebook scroll, but even then… boom…Mummy Guilt, “I should be on that floor with them, rolling about a tuff tray filled with shaving foam and plastic sharks.”
It’s a never ending game of trying to top up my own levels to avoid burn out vs keeping my family happy and being a loving and fun mum.
I wrote this poem today when I managed to get 10 minutes of luke warm tea drinking time. Obviously it was interrupted by his adorable wee face stealing my biscuit and sticking his fingers in my cup.
I really should take you to the pool
Or at least get down on the floor
But right now mummy just wants to sit
For a couple minutes more
The floor is covered in your toys
So please just sit and play
Mummy loves you very much
But I’ve no energy today
You’re just so small and don’t understand
About what’s safe and not
Every 10 seconds I seem to shout
Ah AH! DON’T TOUCH! THATS HOT!!
That wire is not a toy wee man
And neither is the socket
Watch your head on that corner baby
My god this kids a rocket
I pop you back out of harms way
AHH AHH DON’T LICK THE PLUG!
I go back to my cup of tea
But you’re now riding the dug
My colleague calls
I need to work to pay bills
While you paint the walls
And create more spills
My days off are never a day of rest
I spend them all with you
I love all our time even when you’re a pest
I absolutely adore you
I want to spend my time with you
All day, every day
But the guilt I have grows ALL THE TIME
When I don’t do messy play
I know I should be crawling around
Or taking you to a class
But the guilt overwhelmes like a big black cloud
When I choose to sit on my ass
I love you more than life itself
You’re everything I wanted
But I didn’t imagine I’d ever feel
So guilty and exhausted.
So just for now could you not eat whatever you just found on the floor
We will dance to baby shark again soon,
But first, please baby, just a couple minutes more?