Guilt is a funny old thing.
I seem to be constantly wracked with guilt. Not the stomach churning guilt that I experienced as a kid when I got caught nicking some Fruit Pastilles (sorry Mum); but small pangs of guilt, 5 days a week when I leave my baby boy and go off to work. Am I doing the right thing by going out to work? Dex is happy and really loves nursery and his time with Nanny, Granddad and Daddy. Dexter and Mummy day is one of my favourite days of the week, and one of the busiest. I try to make our day together fun but it’s also my only day to get anything done and see friends that I hardly ever get to see. I feel guilty for not giving Dex my full attention, I feel guilty for not doing 16 loads of washing and I feel guilty for not visiting my friends I’ve not seen for yonks. And yes yonks is a real word.
The past few years has seen me experience the occasional bout of life guilt. Events, changes and experiences that should’ve been rejoiced and celebrated have sometimes left a bitter sweet taste in my mouth. Finally finding happiness at work, a secure job with a good wage and good benefits makes me feel guilty about those unhappy in their job, or struggling to even find employment. I’m a greedy cow too as I have 2 jobs and often feel embarrassed for taking an opportunity away from someone else.
Home life has massively improved for us. We’ve managed to buy our first property and couldn’t be happier. I am so proud of what we have and what we’ve achieved. It’s Dexter’s home and his future so why do I feel like a show off when I talk about it? The OH and I are well into our 30’s and are incredibly behind (statistically) when it comes to climbing the property ladder. We’ve not been flash with our cash, just lucky. Yet our luck has come at someone else’s misfortune and sadness and the previous owners are now divorced. I didn’t even know them but it makes me feel guilty.
And Dexter. Well the boy is happy, content, a good sleeper and a fab eater. I feel guilty for even typing that sentence as some good friends with kids the same age as Dex have had problems getting their kids to sleep, getting them to eat and getting the entire family feeling happy and content. The OH half and I have moments when Dex isn’t conforming to his normal behaviour. He has his “off” days and we worry but luckily they are few and far between. Maybe I can cope with the occasional tantrum because I sadly only get to see Dex for 2 full days a week? Dex threw his biggest tantrum to date a couple of weeks ago. We both didn’t know what to do and spent so long discussing our course of action that Dexter gave up on his tantrum and returned to his normal nutty self.
I posted something this morning on Facebook about breastfeeding. The comments from some friends made me feel guilty for putting it out there. I feel lucky to have been able to feed my son but was inwardly wracked with guilt for being able to do so. I fed Dex until he was10 months old and even then (and it was Dexter’s decision to stop) I was still wracked with guilt that I didn’t make it to 12 months. You are damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I was interested in the article and went on to read the study written by the Save the Children charity. In some developing countries there isn’t enough positive support towards breastfeeding and lots of new mums don’t even attempt to try it. We have fantastic support in this country but seeing as Dex chose one of the busiest delivery days of the year to arrive (and my baby shower, grrrrrr) support just wasn’t offered to us at the hospital. There was nothing wrong with Dex or I but some encouragement that I was doing ok was something that I needed. I was like a rabbit in headlights and cried a lot. I was constantly in toe-curling pain and had a number of problems along the way. My breast feeding journey was definitely not a flat easy road but one I should be proud of achieving.
As cheesy as it sounds all I can do in life is try. We don’t have the money to buy the best of everything but we can provide love, support, happiness, reassurance and guidance to our boy.
I wish I could stop worrying about what others think and focus that brain power elsewhere. I want to make Dexter proud to call me Mummy. Or in his words “Mam”.
Thanks for reading
Mummy over and out