With everything that has happened in the last 12 months, I haven't been able to give Miss 2.5 all of my time and attention. She has been neglected when it comes to attention. Then with Miss .75, I have been so consumed with surviving emotionally for the first 6 months, that for the last 3 months I have been trying to sort out a routine for my two angels. I openly admit that I do not cope with change and being stuck between two places. Although, as I look at Miss 2.5, watching her daily 5 minutes of Peppa Pig while she holds her arm with her other hand in her mouth, butter wouldn't melt in her mouth. It is the 10 minutes that she calms and giggles along with the show (sometimes completely inappropriately). Her behaviour has become more challenging (I am sure that is part and parcel of her age) but I can't help questioning and feeling guilty for what I do or don't do for her. Its the same with Miss .75. When I first had Miss 2.5 , it was just her and I for 18 months. We could cuddle and play and "talk" and read books. As soon as I had Miss .75 that all changed. Which although I knew it would, I didn't expect the level of guilt to accompany it.
I LOVE my two girls. I wouldn't have my life any other way. I feel like I don't give them enough of me. If you asked me what do I think I should be giving them I wouldn't be able to tell you. I'm just sure that I am not doing it. I am scared. There. I said it. I don't want to fail. I don't want to screw up.
Is it a real feeling? Absolutely. Is it warranted? I don't know. Can I fix it? Not sure.
So, to combat the feeling of complete failure (and possible spontaneous combustion). I sat with the beautiful Mrs F, who has become my confidante. She listens to my crazy. She laughs at my absurd. She comfort my insecure. She shares her stories. For example she regularly listens to my ramblings and distracts me so that I had a short break from the worries of my day.
It hit me that being a school teacher I have this need to be in control (yes I know what I am admitting here) and I am so used to being organised (truly I am capable of it) that with everything being unorganised here I need to fix it. So. In an effort to change that I created a daily craft and outdoor activity routine (pictures included). It has 9 weeks worth of daily activities to do with Miss 2.5 and some outdoor play as well.
Then I felt the guilt swim in around me... I don't want to make anyone else feel guilty about what they do or don't do with their little people. The question is where does this guilt stem from?
Have we set totally unrealistic expectations on ourselves? Do others set ridiculously high expectations? Is it inherited? Is it the same for everyone?
First of all what is mummy guilt? For me it is that I compare what I am or am not doing with all the other mummy's around me. Am I playing with them enough? Are they watching too much TV? Should Miss 2.5 be toilet trained by now? Am I feeding them enough? Am I feeding them too much? Am I feeding them the right things? Do I focus on what I want to do too much? Am I giving them everything they need? Am I a good role model? Are they picking up my bad habits and the list goes on... and on.
I found some really good articles and I have been talking to Mrs F (love her) and I realised that most of all I need to forgive myself (still work in progress). That I need to accept that I will not be perfect in my eyes but I will always be perfect in Miss 2.5 and Miss .75's eyes. That if I keep worrying about these things I am missing life and the time with them.
Here are some articles/blogs on the whole mummy guilt thing:
I will forever battle the mummy guilt monster (that is who I am) but reading these and gaining not only perspective and the knowledge I am not along makes the journey a little less harrowing.