As a parent, we can often feel the guilt associated with our children. Not necessarily anything they have done, but more our actions towards them and what we do in their best interest. The parental guilt can hit us hard, it can make us questions every aspect of our lives and whether what we are doing is actually the right thing to be doing. It can be confusing, and can often make you feel other emotions such as sadness and defeat, even failure as a parent. But the one thing we should all remember is that we are not alone in this parental guilt, and every parent will feel it in some way at some point of their parenting life. I thought I would share with you three areas where we can feel it the most. Hopefully offering you some tips on how to get through it.
Should we stay in a bad or unhappy relationship for the sake of the children?
Staying in a relationship if you are unhappy is never a good idea. It can really eat away at your self-esteem, and it isn’t fair on either of you to continue. But, so many relationships that aren’t happy continue for the sake of the children, why? Many parents feel extreme guilt over breaking up the family unit, and any one of us can understand that the dream is to remain as a family. However, breaking up and even divorcing can sometimes make you better people and ultimately better parents for your children. Getting a divorce attorney can be a positive step for you family, as you begin to live separate lives and create happy environments for your children to thrive. Of course, only you and your partner can make that decision. But guilt should never be the answer.
Should we continue our careers even if we don’t have much spare time?
For many, the career is vitally important and is a part of who you are and your personality. Your career is something you may have worked on for some time, way before even considering having a family, and often parents want to continue with it while bringing up their children. Guilt can play a big part in this as you start to wonder what you might be missing out on. First words or steps while you are at your desk, the first day of school or graduation. But your career is often what provides the lifestyle that you and the family have grown accustomed to. The family home, the clothes and toys your children have. It can be hard to put it into perspective, but your career might be part of your identity, and you don’t need to feel guilt over holding onto that as you become a parent.
Am I the best parent I can be for my children?
Finally, you can often ask yourself this question multiple times a day. It might be when your child is having a tantrum over eating their vegetables, or not going to bed when the time is right for them to sleep. It might be if you feel like you haven’t done enough with them during vacation time or simply questioning their behaviour and blaming yourself. But as parents we can only do the best we can with each second, minute and day we are graced with.
I hope this makes you realise that some of these thoughts you have are more common than you think.