Sunday, 1 July 2012


Nobody told me about parental guilt.

Admittedly, I never asked. But then nobody told me so surely it's their fault?

When I say 'nobody' I mean parents/in-laws/friends/people I have never met, nor even heard of but who could have at least given me a heads-up.

Not sure what folks could say to make it sink in though:

ME: What's it like being a parent Mum?

MUM: You'll not be able to breathe because of the constant guilt. It's suffocating.

ME: What?

MUM: Make sure you get a nice quilt. It's liberating.

So we did. It's got Igglepiggle on it:

Do you have any idea how fucking guilty I feel getting Bug a quilt that ties in with a TV show?

It purveys everything I do, think or say: we'd been to our playgroup on Monday with friends Bug adores. I declined lunch afterwards because I'd had a disagreement with a staff member at designated lunch place. A week earlier, because I'm a fucking rebel,  I tried to throw away half a can of sweetcorn. I was told I couldn't as it hadn't been purchsed at the cafe.

The staff member in question seemed to be under the illusion he wasn't an idiot. I disagreed.

So I declined lunch and left my friends. Bug then spent the next few minutes whispering 'bye bye' to herself and waving sadly.

The guilt.

O the remorseless guilt.

I'd done what was best for me, not Bug. It's only a small leap to imagine me walking out on her forever.

Bug has a favourite part of the sofa. If I say 'shall we watch TV?' she'll run and get comfy. This morning I was trying to find a DVD I needed to send back to Lovefilm.
     'Where's my film?' I asked Bug.
     I continued the search.
     It didn't register that Bug had gone and sat in her TV spot. She'd heard me say 'film' and assumed that's what we were going to do next.
     I kept entering and leaving the room. Bug kept smiling sweetly.
     After five minutes or so Bug held her hands up and said, with the slightest hint of concern, 'whereisit?'

Guilt: it can be like walking into a wall. My beautiful girl had sat there patiently waiting for Dad to put a film on. And he hadn't. What an absolute bastard.

To alleviate the guilt I popped The Aristocats on.

Brilliant. TV makes everything better. Everything except for the knot in my stomach.

A wall.

If she doesn't eat much lunch I'll scrap the veg casserole I'd planned for dinner and give her fish fingers.

A fucking brick wall.

Yesterday we went to Tesco. Bug pointed to the park and got excited. I told her we'd pop by after we'd been to the shop. We didn't.

A fucking brick wall built out of a child's trust.

Last week I told her I was on the phone to the Sleepy Man and he wanted her to go to sleep. I wasn't on the phone to the Sleepy Man. I lied to my daughter while talking into a stickle brick.

This is my confession. It has been 4 minutes since I last felt guilty.

Bye for now.



I once dressed her in odd socks and told friends she'd chosen them herself.


  1. My kids are always in odd socks- darned things just disappear in to the great outdoors. Guilt may alleviate as they get older but then again....


    1. I was walking to work the other day when I clocked a single tiny baby sock on the pavement. I'd totally forgotten how many of Bug's socks we'd lost while out, especially if she were in the sling.

  2. Being a parent is a roller-coaster emotions underpinned by guilt. It keeps reminding us that it is no longer just ourselves we have to take into consideration. It's all good fun.

    Matching socks? Just buy them all one colour and then there's no problem ;)

    P.S. I just wrote a post titled "Guilt" too! Popular parenting word indeed.

    1. That's a very good point. Feeling the need to do a bit better is no bad thing :)

      Also, that's the third guilt related post I've seen in the past 24 hours! Gosh. Have the little ones put something in our water?

  3. I was totally determined not to be a guilty mummy, having decided in advance that parental guilt was self-indulgent and served no purpose. Four years on I have decided that any parent who does not feel guilty all the sodding time probably isn't doing it right (re: odd socks - my sons have 1,000,000 pairs of socks (probably), except you can only ever find one half of a pair at any one time. A mathematician might say that's cos they have too many socks. But I think there's something more sinister afood).

    1. lol

      Very true. I hadn't though about it like that. I may change the post's title to: Parenting. Why I'm ace at it!

  4. I hit that wall quite often and nobody warned me either xx

    1. Nobody warned be about a great many things. I blame my parents!

  5. I LOVE the idea of talking to the sleepy man on a sticklebrick...

    I feel guilty ALL THE TIME. However much I try not to - it's impossible because you just want the best for your children all the time, but sometimes it's hard to do that - and sometimes you just forget. My daughter is always telling me how I lied about something when the truth is I just forgot. Guilt writ large upon my face every time.

    1. There's a fine line between doing what's best and forgetting. At the moment, Bug's too young to know when I've forgotten so it's solely my guilt I have to live with.
      In not time at all she'll be telling me all about it.

  6. Hope you don't mind but I'm keeping the 'sleepy man' idea!

    I now feel guilty for not recognising the guilt I should have felt for similar incidents.

    My worst habit is saying to my boys in front of other adults,
    "What's happened to your hair today?"
    Knowing damn well I forgot to brush it before we left the house.


  7. God this made me laugh!! I am always feeling guilty.

    @SonnyBryce - totally get the hair thing! I am useless at remembering to brush my son's hair :/ I like to pretend it's his fault!

    As for the socks - WHO IS STEALING THEM!!! I carefully count my son's socks into the washing machine, and when i got to find him pairs when they are dry, I CAN'T!!!! DAMMIT!!!

    I mostly feel a horrid guilt that I spend too long commuting with him and actually like listening to the radio, not Disney...but also for working long hours and having to leave him at nursery. These are not the same guilts :( they are sad ones.

    I'll have to re-read this blog now, to make myself smile again xxxxx

  8. White lies are ok - I wrote about my boy thinking he will turn into a pumpkin. my husband tells me off for being so serious about telling him.