We all get this feeling at least 3 times a week. You know what I’m talking about. That feeling of guilt that comes over you when you don’t give your child what she wants. As parents we always want to do whatever we can to make our kids happy, but there are moments that we have to put their feelings aside and do what’s best.
Unfortunately, our kids are smarter than we realize and they learn to take advantage of our guilt for their benefit. Recently, I caught my daughter trying to stay up beyond her bedtime to watch cartoons & of course I sent her straight to her room. With her head hanging low while doing the walk of shame, I could see the genuine sadness in her eyes. At least I thought it was genuine until she started complaining about how she wishes I was a nice mommy… I never let her do what she wants.. and that so and so’s mom lets her stay up all night. It was in that moment that I realized she was trying to play me. It probably wasn’t the first time she’d done it to get what she wants. Normally her guilt trip works, but this time I saw right through her. Sorry sweetie but maybe mommy should sign you up for acting classes because that little performance you did wasn’t fooling anyone.
When I took a minute to ponder all of the times she’d bamboozled me into doing what she wants, I realized that it’s time to ditch the guilt. But how? Well I can start by doing three things.
- Never letting her see that I actually feel guilty.
- Sticking to my word and not bending the rules.
- Not beating myself up about not meeting her expectations.
Mommy guilt creeps up on us in so many different situations. Especially when we can’t physically be there when they need us. Or when financially we can’t provide what they need. Or how about when they’re hurting (emotionally or physically) and absolutely nothing we do seems to help. Yup, especially that last one. That’s when we feel the worse. Well sometimes we have to ditch the mommy guilt. We have to be confident in ourselves that we’ve done the best we can in the situation. Just like every other unfortunate circumstance, this too shall pass. And when it does, our kids will be back to normal and we will have our good conscious back.
Like what I wrote? You can find me blogging about my parenting adventures at diaperstopotty.com.