Editor’s Note: This was originally written in September 2011 and appeared
on my Facebook page. I have been feeling a lot of Mommy Guilt again
recently so I thought I would share it again.
It’s my fault. I know better. My sweet little three and half year little girl had a major meltdown just before bed and again in the morning when I had to wake her up to get my son to Kindergarten on time.
I had been feeling a tremendous amount of mommy guilt and pressure of not spending enough time with them. It was also in June and the beautiful weather was also compounding the problem. I wanted to spend more time
outside in the evenings.
She seemed fine as we read books at 7:45 pm … but then … all of
sudden … at tuck in time … major tears and protest. I had to use the
strategies I give to my clients for this age group and it broke my heart. She
eventually went in her bed peacefully with kisses and hugs after about 10
minutes of protest. Those 10 minutes felt like 10 brutal hours.
The next morning, she hit me when I asked her to get dressed and I had to
give her a time out. Once again, my heart broke. This all could have been
avoided if I had honoured her sleep and got her in bed just 30 minutes
What makes me even sadder is that other parents think that this
is “normal”. Most people believe that children don’t like going to bed and
that they hit. Yes, it may happen, from time to time and out of the blue but
it does not have to be a normal daily occurrence.
Children do NOT want to misbehave just like we don’t want to SNAP and
lose our patience. Unfortunately, we live in a society where being sleep
deprived is a badge of honour and we don’t truly realize the effect that it
is having on parenting skills and our sweet little children’s mood, learning
abilities and behaviour.
Sleep is neither a privilege nor a punishment, it is a BASIC NEED. Even
though I am a Sleep Consultant and I know this, I often have to remind
myself of it. I am a Mom too. I try to remember to focus on quality time
rather than quantity. Although I continue to make sleep a priority in our
house, I am not always perfect. It can happen to the best of us!
How about you? Do you experience Mommy Guilt? In what area of
parenting does it happen? How do you overcome or cope with it?