Guilty Parenting

 

Photo on 13-02-14 at 5.57 PMThere are two emotions I cannot remember feeling very often before I had children: Guilt and Anger. Now these two emotions seem to enter my body more often than I like.

Guilt – what is there not to feel guilty about? If I over parent, I feel guilty. If I under parent, I feel guilty. If I say NO, I feel guilty. This emotion has crept into my daily living and I can’t see it leaving for a long time.

Times I feel guilty:

  • When I am so busy trying to remember everything that I forget something.
  • When I pretend to listen (because I am actually reading or emailing or staring into space).
  • When my child misses out because I haven’t taken enough notice of what is happening around me.
  • When I say NO to something they really want to do.
  • When I make the children help clean the house.
  • When I make the children have an early night because I need some time alone.
  • When I tell my children off for misbehaving (especially Ashlea as she rarely does) but scream too much.
  • When I get annoyed of something little.

Anger – I don’t recall feeling angry as I grew up or in my early 20’s (except maybe fighting with my siblings). Somehow though, this emotions has crept into my life and stubbornly is here to stay.

Times I feel anger:

  • When I am tired.
  • When my children argue or fight.
  • When my husband is lazy (or maybe it’s me being OCD about cleanliness)
  • When my children won’t listen to each other (and me).
  • When I feel like I am the only one in the house who does anything.
  • When I AM the only in the house who does anything.
  • When I am simply in a mood.

Reading my lists, I realise that most of these things are ‘small stuff’ and I have been taught not to sweat the ‘small stuff’. I understand this in principle but putting into practise on a daily basis can be difficult.

I am going to try, from now on, to control these emotions I will let all other emotions run wild) by not letting the small things in life get to me. I will get back to you in a week and tell you if I have been successful or not.

cheers natalie

Picture Perfect or a facade?

The other day I took my children to have their annual photo with Santa. I have been doing this since Ashlea was born and now have a beautiful collection of 14 years of ‘Santa Pics’. Each year I get out all the old photos and love seeing just how much they have changed. Each photo portrays my children’s personalities and their relationships with each other at that moment in time – scared of Santa, proud to be there, embarrassed by the entire ordeal. Nothing is hidden – it’s a real perception of life snapped in a second.

The recent photo had my youngest (and cheekiest) pulling faces each time the camera clicked. The lady taking the photos came to me shyly, apologising as she simply couldn’t get him to pull a happy, staged face. I laugh and told her I love the faces and to just let him do his thing.

This made me wonder how we think we are perceived by others. Everyone puts on a facade at times, depending on the environment we are in. Most adults have a work image, a family image, a friends image and the list can simply go on. I am not saying people are fake but there are certain aspects of our personalities or outer facade that are more suited to a particular surrounding.

I often get told ‘I don’t know how you do it’ –  with 4 children, studying, working part time, writing a blog and running a household. I know 4 children is a large family these days so I am guessing that is where the majority of the ‘How does she do it’, comes from. Most days flow fairly unscathed, between the taxi service I run (kids activities), cooking, cleaning, working, talking (heaps of that) and socialising (kids have a better social life than I do) – we are very busy. Some days are a little bumpy with arguments, tantrums, exhaustion and forgetting the occasional location of one of my children. Then there are days where I should never have gotten out of bed. It’s these days that most of us (as parents) try to hide from the world.

From the outside, I appear in control and relaxed with most of what life throws at me. And generally this is the case. However, when it all gets too much and I have a mini break down, I believe the best response is to talk about, to let others know that life isn’t always perfect. Putting on a facade that life is always wonderful makes others feel erroneous and maybe they are doing something wrong because their lives do not appear to be as streamlined.

Parenting is one of the most difficult and emotional jobs to do but by being open and honest when things do not run as smoothly as we would  like, makes every parent feel ‘normal’.

Some of my “not so great” parenting moments:

  • Punched a hamburger in anger then threw it on the ground only to create a mess I then had to clean up.
  • Told my kids I had had enough and was out of here, getting in my car and driving away ( around the block and came back to hysterical children)
  • Made one of my boys pack his bag and put him outside, telling him a taxi was on its way.
  • Not allowing my children’s artwork to EVER touch my beautifully decorated Christams tree – telling them it is not tree worthy.
  • Telling my child they will be alright, ignoring their complaints only to find out they had a burst eardrum.

And the list could go on but I don’t want my readers to think I am completely crazy.

Cheers natalie

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