As a parent today we have information coming at us from all sides…and where it comes from is unfortunately geared toward using scare tactics to get our attention. Books, blogs, news, etc. all feed on our mommy guilt to get us to do their bidding; whether it be buying organic or sleep training or breastfeeding.
Mommy guilt is real. It’s alive and well without any of the agenda pushing media surrounding us. I can feel badly about speaking too harshly on a tired morning before my coffee cup has been drained (and refilled and drained again) just as easily without reading about why authoritarian (drill-sergeant) parenting doesn’t work.
I have tearfully apologized to sleepy heads more times than I care to admit for yelling or being grumpy during the day and they always forgive me with hugs and kisses and love. Just yesterday, L even asked me if I was grumpy. BOOM-mommy guilt. It’s so easy to regret and get down on yourself. I find myself wishing and trying and reading myself into being a better mom constantly. Just in the last four months I’ve read 5 or 6 parenting books. Maybe everyone tries to get better at their careers (yes, motherhood is my career) by reading self-improvement books in their late twenties…but there’s a downside to information overload. When you keep reading all the things you SHOULD be doing, it’s really easy to see all the things you’re doing wrong.
But really…this parenting thing…no one knows how to do it right. The more I learn and the more I do, the more I realize that everyone is just flying by the seat of their pants and we all kind of figure it out as we go. Sure, there are tried and tested and psychologically sound ways to discipline and teach our kids, but we have to just do what works and if it’s not working, change it. Going through your days and continuing on in the same way that makes you regret it all is some sort of insanity. I have to constantly remind myself not to dwell on what I’m doing wrong, but apologize if I mess up, move on, and try to do better the next time. Isn’t that how we want our kids to behave anyway?