I know it is easier said than done, but please do not feel guilty about what you HAVE TO DO for your kids.
Tonight I had a newly single mom approach me about employment opportunities at my department since this was her last week of a paycheck. This mother then went on to say how she does not know how single moms do it because she is fortunate that her kids are old enough to be home alone (which they are) but she still felt awful that her kids were going to be home, alone, in front of a screen from 9-5 all Summer.
Not an ounce of me judged her for that statement but she quickly went on to say how her kids are not allowed outside when she is not home.
I totally agree. We have the same rules in our house when the kids are home alone.
I told her that she needed to do what she needed to do and not to be guilty.
I am pretty sure I quite literally saw the weight leave her shoulders.
She went on to say how she sometimes feels so guilty because she has to work and again very calmly told her not to feel guilty – we are all doing what we have to do for our kids.
I am aware that I am fortunate that I have a support system and I have my children’s father at home. I am also fortunate that I never felt that guilt for getting up and going to work every day.
Do I wish I could just stay home with my kids? Of course, I do, but that does not mean I feel guilty about working. Thing 1 went into daycare as soon as he was able to so I could go back to work. Yes, I dropped my eight-week-old child off at daycare and felt no remorse for it.
I was built to work. I grew up seeing my mother get up and go to work; even though my father made more than enough to support our family… my mother still got up and went to work. That was my normal. I knew no better.
Guilt did not even occur to me until I became an “older” mother and started meeting other moms who ever so gradually made me feel like less because I did not volunteer to be the class mom. Or because I let my children watch TV during the week. Or because I worked nights and hired a sitter to just keep them alive. Then I got a little older and a little more seasoned than the mothers I was dealing with who tried to make me feel guilty because I let the kids buy lunch every day (because I was tired of them complaining and throwing out the lunches anyway).
I am not a helicopter parent.
I believe kids should have chores and have household responsibilities for NO ALLOWANCE.
I could go on and on and on about my parenting style and how it conflicts with those on your favorite social media site.
The way I parent, for the most part, is very similar to the way my husband was raised and we both turned out okay. I think these little things made us who we are.
So to the mother out there struggling with guilt, stop.
Get off the internet. (Because the internet is the worst place to be when you’re feeling some kind of way) Sign out of Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest especially.
You know what works for you and your kids. That is what you need to do; focus on those things and everything will work itself out.
Know that your kids see you out there doing what needs to be done and respect you for it. And you being concerned about what other parents are thinking is not worth your thoughts. Those people who are judging you are living in their own glass houses and are too afraid someone is going to see right through their facade.