A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Feeling Guilty

Having being around other mummies (and daddies) for almost 10 years now, I reckon... I am inclined to think that 99% of parents are well-intentioned. One might not always agree with someone else's parenting philosophy but after spending some time with them, you can be sure they mean well and they're parenting according to their own personality.
But oh, the amount of guilt that parents carry around is phenomenal.
Well, maybe it's not every parent. I'm sure most are far too confident in their parenting to feel overly burdened by a sense of guilt. :D
Like moi, for instance.
I am guilt-ridden about my parenting far too regularly for my own good. One moment I'm racked with guilt from raising my voice beyond an acceptable decibel and the next I feel a pang of guilt for letting the kids get away with stuff.
I gotta pick my battles, you know. No sense in fighting with the 4 year old who insists on wearing beautiful dresses all the time and when it's horribly impractical.
I really learnt what guilt could do to a person's state of mind when I couldn't breastfeed and felt guilty when I was relieved that I wasn't breastfeeding anymore.

I feel guilty... sometimes... when I make threats practice choices and consequences.... and feel a tad guilty for having to carry them out. And occasionally I even feel a teeny tiny bit guilty for not feeling sorry that I've had to carry out consequences.

Once, a few years ago, I was having a BBQ with my students when my then 5 year old attached herself to some other children. They were rolling on the grass and I was horrified. The father of the other children (probably meant well) half seriously, half jokingly that I should "leave her be" or words to that effect and let the kids be kids. Immediately I felt guilty and embarrassed. But I was still annoyed that the 5 year old just took off without telling me and dirtied herself after having a shower.
Later I felt guilty for being too controlling and embarrassed that I had been ticked off in public.

Last week, I took the 4 year old to Aldi on my own and well, that was probably my first mistake. Anyway, while I had my back turned to examine some nectarines, she tried to open some kind of security door. Sigh. The alarm came on and it frighten the wits off the both of us.
Yeah, I was quite embarrassed... and felt guilty for bringing her into the store.
Moments later, when we went to another shop, she pulled out a couple of Chuppa Chups to show me. So it was back to Aldi to return it to the checkout lady and pay for the one with the wrapper removed.

It's probably just me... I'm sure I'm unusually thin-skinned. I'm not as thin-skinned as I used to be but the 4 year old like to go places where her big sister would never dream of going. She's a boundary pusher to the extreme.

Parenting is like balancing a tightrope. One doesn't want to go too much one way or the other but by golly, it's tough to maintain a balance.

1 comment:

  1. 1. Security door incident: check -- happened to me too
    2. Chuppa Chups: check -- not upwrapped but sucked on over the paper...wet and gross.
    3. Finding balance: check -- how can one keep the balance with the constantly variable thing we call parenting?
    4. Guilt: check -- struggle all the time to so no to guilt and say hello to learning and growing
    5. Ticked off in public: check.
    6. Have a daughter wear good dress All. The Time.: check. I don't worry about it anymore. May as well wear them instead of them just sitting in the cupboard looking pretty.

    You're not alone. Parenting is hard and I'm always second guessing myself and trying to make it work... {sigh}


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