I don’t really know where to start with this one. Probably as the beginning is best. Seems petty though now I’m writing it down into words, but it’s the thought pattern that this morning’s events lead to that I’m brooding over.
Little P banged her head, she ran smack into the corner of the car door as I opened it. Smack. Then she fell as she stumbled backwards away from it and we sat snuggling on the back seat for a minute until she calmed down and I was able to get over the blue egg that was forming on her forehead. It’s horrible when your child hurts themselves, P is a tough cookie and usually jumps up after skidding to the floor with, “am ok mum” but when she really hurts herself we all know about it. But that’s not what I felt guilty about today. It was the leaving her when she needed me.
You see she calmed quite quickly actually after her accident, she usually does bounce back pretty quick (unless it’s sand in her eyes and that’s a whole other didn’t live it down for two weeks story) and today was the same. So then we got in the car and trotted off to the childminders. Everything was fine until we pulled up and then suddenly the tears started again and little P looked up at me, crying and saying, “I just want to go home and be with you” and of course my heart broke. Mum guilt kicked in.
Now generally I’m pretty good when it comes to mum guilt. Don’t get me wrong I have my moments and find it hard to juggle everything but in general I don’t feel guilty for leaving her to go to work and for being ambitious in my career. I don’t feel guilty going for a run or to dancing because it’s good for my health, both physically and mentally and it’s modelling positive habits for her. I don’t feel guilty because these things help me come back to her refreshed and able to be an attentive good mum to her. They model good habits and behaviours and are part of life, I have to work hard to provide for her. So I don’t feel guilty.
Until something happens. Until she’s poorly, bangs her head or just needs some emotional support from mummy.
Then it kicks in. Then it’s hard. Because life doesn’t always allow for you to drop things and tend to your child. Don’t get me wrong I know plans can be cancelled and they are. But it’s not always that straightforward, especially when it comes to work and I have a very understanding school but still those children need a teacher in front of them in the classroom and policies etc have to be followed.
I wrote the other day about how proud I am of her and her confidence and resilience but this doesn’t mean she doesn’t sometimes just need some extra tlc. She’s very clever and a tough little cookie but she’s also still only 3 and learning about the world and life can still get overwhelming and too much for her sometimes. And if I’m honest, I’m wanting to foster this resilience in her but sometimes it’s hard to get the balance right between getting her to be strong and giving her the support when she needs it.
I love being a mum, I love being her mum, we make such a good team and she’s such a happy little soul. But it’s hard work and I don’t always get it right. I don’t always make the right judgement call, I’m sometimes too soft, I’m sometimes too harsh and then I pick holes in what I’ve done and feel guilty. But I can hand on heart say whatever I do for her, it’s always with the best of intentions and with so much love and her best interests at heart.
If I’m guilty of anything really, I’m guilty of loving her, being her mum and doing the best I can. Guilty as charged.