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Parent guilt. We hear about this all of the time, and it’s extremely common for parents to feel this way, especially when they have young kids. You feel bad for losing your temper and shouting at them every now and then. You feel bad that you didn’t do enough with them that day. You feel bad that you just wanted space for five minutes to go to the bathroom or to just relax after a particularly tough tantrum. But guess what? All of that is completely normal. You don’t need to feel guilty for that, even though society has told you that you do. In this article, we’re going to be looking through some of the things you definitely should never feel parent guilt for, and hopefully this will help a little.
Your Kids Will Develop At Different Rates
One of the most common causes for parent guilt is if your kid hasn’t hit the milestone that society has told you they need to hit. Let us tell you something, and it’s really important that you understand this: kids will develop at their own pace. Some kids are walking and talking by the age of 14 months, and others aren’t. Yes, it’s true that there are average times at which babies and children will start to do things, but this is not a representation of all children and you should not take it as such. For example, if you look up the age babies start to sit up, you will find some information on this, but it doesn’t mean that your child will be the same.
You can encourage your kids to do new things, absolutely, but don’t try to force them. They will get there in their own time, you just have to trust them and yourself. It’s okay if they are not doing the same as everyone else, we promise you that it is.
You Are Human For Wanting Time Away
Another of the most common causes for parent guilt is wanting some time away from your child. It’s normal, and it’s healthy. You cannot be attached to the hip 24/7 as this is not good for you or them. Yes, when they are really small they need your comfort and they need you, but as they get older, time away from them is going to be important. They need to know that you are not going to be there all day, every day as this is not feasible.
Sometimes, you just want a night where you can sleep through and not worry about anything. Sometimes, you just want to let your hair down and have a night to yourself. Sometimes, you just want to relax without someone calling for you every couple of minutes or wondering why it’s so quiet. There is nothing wrong with this, and it’s something that you should do if you can. If you have someone that you trust to watch your kid or kids so that you can have some time for yourself, do it.
It’s Okay To Struggle As A Parent
The narrative that we have been fed is that it’s not okay to struggle as a parent. You often hear people saying ‘well you chose to have a kid, so now you have to deal with the consequences’. Yes, to an extent this is true, but not in a negative way as this is framed. Yes you did choose to have a child, but that does not mean that you are not allowed to struggle. This does not mean that you should have to do it alone, and burn yourself out to the point where you physically cannot go on any longer.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, but they conveniently forget this when it comes time to support people who are struggling, instead opting to tell them to just get on with it. Struggling is a part of parenthood, but that doesn’t mean you have to continue to struggle. It’s okay to ask for help when you need it.
We know that no matter what we say, it’s not going to be enough to completely stop the parental guilt that is swirling around inside of you, but hopefully this has helped at least a little bit. We understand that it can be tough to let go of the way that you have been told to feel, and replace it with a healthier way of thinking, but you will get there if you keep trying for it. Parent guilt is tough to live with, but it’s also not necessary to live with.