We also watched Tangled last week. Guilty again!
Is it just me, or does every parent spend at least part of their day feeling some degree of guilt?
So, while I don't feel so bad that I let my daughter watch Beauty and the Beast last Tuesday - because she woke up at 5:45 and my ability to function as a parent doesn't start until 6am, on a good day - the fact that Daddy was stuck at work late and I ended up making fish fingers and peas instead of a proper home-cooked meal the following night did leave me with a bad conscience.
It seems like I have two modes these days: highly strung and anxious, or feeling guilty about the method I've chosen to relieve that anxiety. Like the other day, when I got a huge frozen yoghurt - something I've been fantasising about for months - felt happy for about 30 minutes and then spent my afternoon worried that me and my unborn baby had contracted listeriosis as a result
Some level of anxiety and fear of failure is normal when raising a toddler - you spend most of every day responsible for another human life, after all, so I think fretting about something or other is a pretty normal state of being. But my guilt is turning into a full-time job.
When Diana approached me the other day and said, 'No work, Mummy, no work,' as I was opening up my laptop to send an email, I naturally felt guilty, even though I have spent countless hours justifying my work-from-home lifestyle and am generally pretty happy with it.
I've upped my workload recently - yet another thing to feel guilty about, probably - but considering I plan to take a proper maternity leave this time (unlike the last time, when I was back at my computer, with Diana nursing in my lap, about a week-and-a-half after I gave birth because I was so panicked that stopping work might mean I wouldn't start again), I should feel fine about working a few more hours' each day for the next few months. Especially since I'm enjoying it. But I can't help but feel a pang in my stomach whenever I'm on the computer in D's presence.
I also realise that maybe this isn't all about me - work is a dirty word for Diana since every morning, when she wakes up and eagerly asks: 'Where's Daddy
?,' I have to say, 'He's at work.' And one day she will understand that while we'd both love to sit and play and read and chat to her the whole day (well, most of the day, at least - I still need D to have those naps
), until that happens, I need to feel confident in the choices I've made.
has been another serious source of guilt lately. Since D turned two
, I decided that banning television was no longer of such paramount importance, and now we'll watch a movie or two together each week. Except I only want her to watch what I like to watch, so mainly, we've been watching Disney movies.
Again, I know it's basically unavoidable to raise a child nowadays with no television whatsoever - especially as a self-confessed TV addict myself - so I need to be OK with letting D have some TV time, but when she points to a picture of a mouse in our latest children's book and gleefully shouts 'Mickey Mouse!,' I do wonder whether we're already overdoing it.
What else? I'm stressed about the fact Diana still loves her bottles - over a year after I was 'supposed' to be ditching them entirely
- and can only console myself in thinking that at least she no longer goes to bed with her bottles but has her milk before instead.
On top of that, the 'emergency' dummy
, now a beloved bedtime companion, is also giving me grief since the dentist told me that Diana is 'at risk' of developing an overbite because of it. So it looks like all of the easy roads I took to make the earlier days of parenting more cope-able are now coming back to torture me.
As if all of this weren't enough to drive a person crazy, Bolshy is now getting jealous whenever I read D books, which is all the time. He follows me into her room, glares at me while reading and starts emitting this horrible whining, sobbing wail (which sounds so painful that I ended up taking him to the vet for it, thinking he was seriously ill, only to be told he was just a brat and I owed £30). So even my bulldog, who I spend way too much time looking after anyway, is trying to guilt-trip me.
My new solution? This week, I plan to relax. There's no way I can please everyone, but at least I can stop myself from having another guilt-ridden week. Which is surely good for the baby-to-be, Diana and even Bolshy. And probably not too bad for me, either.
What do you feel guilty about?