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Parents Guilt: Would we just make it up if we didn’t feel it?

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Parents guilt; Guilty as charged!

Parents guilt; Guilty as charged!

Parents guilt – what’s it all about; why do we get so racked with it. If only I knew….

My kids have been to after school club over the last few weeks.

The first time, they actually ASKED to go. And because we are going to need to use it more over the next few weeks, I didn’t see the harm.

Last week, they had to go as I went to the MAD Blog Awards. And fab it was too

What’s the point of you telling me this, Helen?

Well. I am giving you an example.

I feel guilty about using an after school club.

I feel guilty for putting them in there even when they asked to go. I feel guilty for putting them in there when they didn’t.

Whatever I am doing here, I feel guilty.

When they want to go; guilt that they don’t want to spend every waking moment with me. When they have to go; guilt because they can’t spend time with me because I am doing something else.

Should I be allowed time for work? Time for me; time to do what I want or need to do? Yes. I should. But I still feel guilty for it. And I have no-one to blame but me.

I am still putting them in the club; because if I want to work, I need to do so. But they actually wanted to go. So shouldn’t we all be happy? Apparently, I am still not 100% OK with all this. Guilt is seeping in around the edges.

I am convinced that parents all around the world would INVENT something to feel guilty for if there wasn’t a plausible reason to feel it. I think I am. Whatever we do; whether we are a stay at home mum, work at home mum, work in office mum, stay at home dad, dad who twiddles thumbs, mum who twiddles dad’s thumbs, or hobbit who eats children for supper; we ALL feel guilty about our choices.

Want another example?

Parents guilt: Relief they went back to school

I felt guilty for breathing a small sigh of relief when Stuntboy and Chatterbox went back to school. Guilt for running away as fast as I could to get my head down and write.  I was at my study desk at 9am sharp on their first day back.

Why did I feel relief? I swear to you there are some good reasons…Well:

  • Tidier house; though you would never know…
  • Tidier work; I would be a less manic mummy; as I wouldn’t have to try and work around them
  • Tidier writing; My writing would be better; no interruptions to make tea, play, kiss hurt knees, or negotiate the peace treaty of Versailles all over again because SOMEONE had it first
  • Tidier mind; No desperate and pathetic attempts for my brain to think up entertainments all day for two very demanding children. School can pick up some of the slack. They are a dam sight better at it than me anyway
  • Less bickering; can’t work a tidy into this one – but it was really starting to get on my wick.

I loved having them about, but when the six weeks was over, I was a relieved. Sorry. Does that make me a bad mummy? Or just a busy one?

God knows.

However, if I hadn’t felt relief, you can bet your life I would have felt guilty for not being relieved and wanting them to stay at home with me forever all day every day. Somehow I would have blamed myself for stunting their social growth, or something equally demented. That’s the way a lot of us parents roll….

Maybe we like the guilt? Maybe we don’t feel we are doing it right unless we feel guilty about something, so deep down its all rather reassuring? I haven’t a clue, so what do you think?

How do you feel? Do you suffer from parents guilt? Do you feel a little bit guilty whatever you do like me? Or am a just a demented guilt monster from the planet guilty? Do you have any advice? If you do, please come and share it.

Image above courtesy of

Helen is a mum to two, social media consultant, and website editor; and this site is (we think) the only Social Enterprise parenting magazine! Since giving up being a business analyst when juggling travel, work and kids proved too complicated, she founded KiddyCharts so she could be with her kids, and use those grey cells at the same time. KiddyCharts has reach of over 1.1million across social and the site. The blog works with big family brands (including travel) to help promote their services, as well as offering free resources to parents of kids under 10. It gives 51%+ profits to Reverence for Life, who fund a number of important initiatives in Africa, including bringing running water and basic equipment to a school in Tanzania. Helen has worked as a digital marketing consultant (IDM qualified) with various organisations, including Channel Mum, Truprint, Talk to Mums, and Micro Scooters. She loves to be creative in the brand campaigns she works on. Get in touch TODAY!

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