It is hard to be a parent without feeling guilty at some point. It starts when you are pregnant and never really goes away. For some reason we all want to be the perfect parent. We don’t want to make any mistakes. We want to do it all right and we don’t want to be judged.
No matter what choices you make, there is always someone out there that would say you are making the wrong one. You really can’t win. For every parenting choice you make, there are a ton of articles out there that say you are wrong and just as many saying you are right.
What’s a parent to do about all that?
I think we should ignore it!
If I could do anything over again it would be to do what I feel is right and NOT feel any guilt for it. This is hard though. We moms want to know that we are making the right choices and sometimes it is hard to know what that is.
I always wanted to breastfeed. I worked so hard to do to it with my oldest and we made it to 17 months. So when I was faced with a decision to give my 2nd little boy formula at 9 months because he wasn’t growing like he should, I did what I thought was best. Maybe I was wrong, maybe I wasn’t. I don’t know. I know that once he started getting the formula he started gaining weight.
Did I feel guilty about that? Yes. Should I have? Probably not. Although I still think breastfeeding is the best way to go, sometimes formula is needed and sometimes it is just the way it needs to be. Does that kick me out of the pro-breastfeeding club? Maybe, but I have learned that it really doesn’t matter.
Guilt comes at all different times on our parenting journey. Sometime it is warranted yes, most of the time it isn’t.
How should a mom decide what is right and what is wrong? How are we supposed to know what to do? It is easy to have parenting ideals but what if they don’t add up to reality? What if life gets in the way? How do we know what we should hold onto and what we can let go?
When it comes to my kids these days, I try to do what is best. I try to do what is right. I read advice about what different people have done and go from there. And depending on the situation, sometimes I am okay with being wrong. Of learning a lesson through it. Because sometimes, it is really hard to know what is best for your child on a particular issue. And no one else can really tell you either.
So when guilt comes up, look at why you feel that way. Are you doing the best you can? If so, there is no reason to feel so guilty about things. I don’t think our goal should be to become a perfect parent.
I think our goal should be to be a good parent to the children we each have. And that is nothing we should feel guilty about.