I think that as parents, we all beat ourselves up about doing the best for our children. Sometimes, our best is all we can do but I know that for me, it will never be good enough. Here are the ways I’m letting my children down. Can you relate to any of them?
I don’t pay enough attention to either child.
I know that Lia suffers in particular, to such an extent that her development is notably behind where Libby’s was at the same age. By now, Libby could point to all her body parts, even her eyebrows. She was saying quite a lot of words. Lia can only say a couple of words and doesn’t really use them in context. She doesn’t know her arse from her elbow.
Libby suffers too though, and possibly in an even worse way. She doesn’t get the amount of affection from me that she should. Libby often comes to me for a cuddle and tries to get my attention by shouting or crying.
I feel terrible that she has to do that. Especially since until Lia came along, Libby was my everything. To me, she still is, but I guess for her it doesn’t feel like that now that she has to share the role.
I’m setting them up to be lonely
I’ve never particularly been somebody who fitted in. At primary school, the dinner ladies made me face the wall when I was eating because I had massive eyes and the other children said I was staring at them. What a loser.
It didn’t really improve. At high school, I met some wonderful people and made some great friends. I was never part of a friendship group as such though.
And as an adult? Things are still the same. I take the girls to their groups and all the mums chat and get to know each other. We’ve been trudging around the same groups for about two years now, I’ve never so much as spoken to one of the other mums outside of the group and as a general rule I don’t speak to them inside the groups either.
And how does this effect my girls? I am concerned that they will see the fact that I’m always on the periphery of social situations and follow suit. I don’t want that for them.
You never know who you might meet…
I make a real effort to make sure that the girls eat a variety of foods. Usually healthy, but with the odd curry, nandos, pizza and even a Michelin star meal thrown in.
Despite this, I am horribly overweight, and I eat far too much sugar just to keep me awake. I don’t want the girls to think that it’s okay to let yourself go when you’re a mum, I don’t want this for them.
I don’t have my hair cut, some days I don’t even brush it. I can’t remember the last time I wore make up. In truth, I’m too tired to care about how I look. That’s not ok.
The girls regularly see my beautiful sisters who are in their 20’s and always look gorgeous. I hope that they look up to their aunties enough to want to be like them and not take after me.
I let my dreams escape
There was a time when I had ambitions and aspirations. I wanted to be somebody. Not the centre of attention, but perhaps somebody who made a difference on the periphery.
These days, I am a mum. It’s the most important job in the world and my girls are a credit to me. But by being the person who works in a mundane job day in, day out without a day off, survives on four hours sleep and takes it out on my kids, am I setting an example of the person I want them to become? Of course not.