I don't usually write (or talk to my friends) too much on the subject of being a parent, I think I still have hang-ups about being one of those Mothers, you know, the ones who can only talk about their children. But, to be honest I think I'm starting to gain a bit of perspective, this is my life day to day and I love it, why should I feel guilty about talking about my life?
Anyhoo, that's not the guilt I wanted to write about.
I was reading an article about parenting guilt (television, chocolate - etc.) as a result I've been thinking about the guilt we carry around with us. I had someone's parental guilt bomb go off in my face the other day about chocolate, it went something like this
Mother; "My 2 year old loves chocolate! Have you bought The Boy his Easter chocolate yet?'
me: "No, we just haven't really introduced him to chocolate yet, I was thinking about getting some plastic Easter eggs and filling them with sultanas and tiny teddies and then maybe a small chocolate Easter egg to go with it"
Mother: "Oh... well... it's not like I give my child chocolate all the time, hardly ever really, it's really the grandparents fault, but now that the child has tried it, I can't very well say they can't have any ever!"
me out loud: "absolutely, I understand how it is"
and in my head "Whoa, calm down, maybe I should have just said 'no' and left it at that"
I remember once in a shopping centre when The Boy was about 4 months old a random lady asked me if I was breastfeeding, to which I went on a guilt spiral rant about how sad and shameful I felt about stopping at 2 months because of health issues, I went on and on, I couldn't stop myself - poor lady, she never saw it coming.
Do we all have secret guilt about our parenting? Or is it only when we are asked hard questions or faced with a different parenting style? Have you had experience with this?
Above is a picture of The Boy with his first taste of chocolate last Easter.
EDIT:: I also just wanted to add that I think we can jump to conclusions very quickly - after the chocolate conversation I felt judged and guilty like a 'mean mummy', depriving my child of treats and was worried that the other mother thought I was judgmental of her giving her child chocolate (which is not the case at all, go for it I say!) I think we all need to work out what is right for us and our families and be confident in our choices - I don't think we should need to feel like we owe anyone an explanation.
I worry sometimes that just having a different opinion can come across the wrong way. Sometimes I feel like I don't want to share my opinions because I don't want to be judged or come across as judgmental, ack! it's a minefield!