Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Mum Guilt, Do We Ever Get Over It?

When you're a working parent, you are always full of guilt. Guilt that you have sent your kid to school with a rushed breakfast, guilt that you have shouted at them for not getting dressed fast enough when you have to get ready too. Then there is the guilt of not being able to attend all of the school events like assemblies and sports days. Now I have been a parent for 25 years and I have been to more school events than I can even remember. But with Tilly, I have missed two special events at school recently and as if I didn't feel bad enough already, I had to cancel a SEN appointment at school yesterday.

I won't go into details but my situation changed for the week and I had to go to work. Maybe I got my priorities wrong, I don't know. But everything changed all of a sudden and I struggle with change as it is, so here I was with the situation of do I 1/ go to work and complete my contracted hours. or 2/ lose out on nearly £50 wages that would pay my food bill for the week. obviously, I felt I had no choice but to go to work and get paid.

Being a single parent is actually hard and sometimes I feel like shouting to people that ''I AM TRYING TO KEEP MY S*** TOGETHER''. But that's not what we do, is it? We are British and we soldier on. On the outside, it looks like some parents have it all. It looks like they are the perfect parents with everything handed to them on a plate. But quite often it's not the case. When you are solo parenting, you are the one completely responsible for the welfare of your child. The choices you make are the ones that you have to live with forever and missing appointments and special days like sports day are extremely upsetting for any parent.

Even the other week when Tilly had a school assembly, she asked if I was coming and she looked at me with slight disappointment and said 'I guess it will have to be Kim then!' That cut through me like a knife. Sometimes I think that it would be best to give up work and put my child first, but then the money struggle will be worse! But then I think that surely I am putting my kid first by going to work, I am able to provide for her this way and treat her to nice things.

I don't think there is a right and wrong way to avoid mum guilt. It is going to be there all the time, no matter what choices we make with our children. We will always wonder if we have made the right choices, sometimes we have - other times we haven't. We are mums (and dads) and we will always wonder if we are doing the right thing for our little family.

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