Those who already know the gory details of my childhood will know that I had a very dysfunctional start to life.
Going through the things I did when I was a kid, meant that I was hell bent from a very young age to not repeat history, and ensure I gave my own children a better start to life than the one I had.
At points it seemed absolutely impossible that I could fix my damaged head and broken heart. I didn’t think I’d ever find true love before bringing babies into the world.
It was a tall order, but I did it.
A few years ago I wrote this
“Myself and my hubby are not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but we are 100% focussed on our kids. When we have a problem, we face it head on and try to find the best solution all round for the family. We don’t fool ourselves that we need lots of materialistic possessions to make us happy. We don’t need to maintain some fancy lifestyle that was adhered to pre-children. We lead a modest life, but it is full of love and that is more important than anything money could buy.”
I surmised that a healthy bit of parental guilt is totally normal, and perfectly expected given the modern world we live in, and everything it entails. I also said that excessive amounts of guilt must stem from somewhere deeper, needing self-reflection to get to the bottom of it.
That was when I had a pre-schooler, albeit a challenging one, and a baby to contend with. I didn’t have even have the twinkle in my eye of a third child. I wasn’t an autism mum. I felt quite broken by sleep deprivation, but it had only been three-odd years of it, not a completely and utterly torturous six-odd years. I wasn’t consumed with guilt over everything and nothing, because essentially I had nothing to feel guilty about.
This weekend I messed up. Massively!
My 4yo was invited to a birthday party, and I wrote the wrong day on the calendar. I had it in as Sunday, it was actually Saturday. I found out at 9:30pm on Saturday night, just as I was thinking about going to bed. I then spent an hour agonising over what a crap mum I was and what I could offer up to my beautiful girl as an alternative.
I keep hearing that ‘regular kids’ are very resilient, and although my middle girl is, she also has lots extra on her plate that most regular kids don’t have to even consider. This is where most of my guilt comes from. The worry that her childhood is going to be stolen from all that extra stuff her little friends never have to think about.
On the rare occasion that we had something lovely planned that was all hers, I went and messed it up. So yes, I’m beating myself with a huge stick right about now, because I’m a human, not a robot.
I’m also going to take this opportunity to indulge her with my time and love today. We’re going to watch a film at the cinema that we wouldn’t normally be able to, due to it scaring her sister. We’re going to eat all her favourite food that we usually steer clear of (starting with fish and chips for lunch). Ultimately I will try my best to make up for the disappointment.
I’ll also try to not feel so guilty about my mistake, but I’d be lying if I said I could promise it.