10 March 2014

Fighting the mom guilt.

What I didn't mention in the other day, when I was telling the story about how we ended up in the Urgent Care, was the tremendous amount of Mom guilt I felt afterward.

I try not to be what people refer to as a "helicopter" parent. I try not to hover, and in fact, I do my best to give my children a certain amount of freedom. Freedom to just be kids, and explore & find adventures, and sometimes, I even let them take risks. Because how will they ever learn boundaries if they don't understand consequences? 

Being a Mom, heck, being human, I know that accidents happen. It's literally impossible for me to keep tabs on my children 24/7, and in all honesty, I wouldn't want to. Even though my children are running, climbing, risk-taking little energizer bunnies that never -- ever -- stop, I have sort of just accepted that. I put effort into just letting them just BE sometimes.

It's hard to predict when certain behaviors are going to result in injuries. With little kids, you know it's inevitable. But even knowing that, when your child gets hurt, regardless of the circumstance, you can't help but feel like there is something you could have, should have done, to prevent it. Or is that just me??

This is, I'm assuming what was happening when Easton fell yesterday:


I have been criticized before for letting my kids climb on furniture. And after Easty got hurt the other day, part of me felt guilty for allowing this behavior to happen in our home. Do I encourage it? No. But after months and months of asking Bennett (when he was younger) to stop jumping/climbing on the furniture, I've sort of just made a choice to let it go. He obviously wasn't listening and I could repeat the same thing 100 times, and put him in time out, and take things away as punishment, and it wouldn't stop my child from bounding across the couch every other minute. So when Easton started doing the same thing, I wasn't surprised.

I can't be sure that he was climbing on the chair when he fell and cracked his head, but if that's what he was doing, I absolutely feel partly to blame because I've allowed the boys to be act like monkey's in our house.

So the guilt crept in and for a minute, it made me question my parenting choices. Should I try to implement new rules? Should I be more strict with certain things? I don't know. But I do know that I can't always prevent these things no matter what I do. So even though it's hard, I've been fighting the guilt off,  reminding myself that I'm a good Mom -- even if I do let me kids get a little wild sometimes. It's hard to put this all out there because it makes me feel vulnerable and I don't like that feeling. I'm just hoping that by sharing some of the things I've been thinking about, that others will be able to relate.

What do you do when Mom Guilt starts to take over?


21 comments:

Skye said...

I live mom guilt every day. I think it's just a normal thing all of us moms feel. I don't think you can stop it from taking you over. I have yet to talk to one mom that doesn't have it in one way or another! I try not to be a helicopter mom too - but I find myself hovering and saying "No stop touching that. No stop that. No. No. No.... Stop! Get down! Get off of that! Come back here...." LOL and the list goes on. I think our kids will get hurt and learn lessons in life no matter what we do. We can't beat ourselves up for it either- much easier said than done of course! :) You are a good mama and certainly can't take fault for your babies getting hurt - it's going to happen as much as it sucks :( - Have a great day!

Karri said...

You punch that mom guilt in the throat. That's what you do. As a parent, we have to choose our battles. Do we really want to waste our time battling the little, petty ones?
As far as protecting them....I have a child we refer to as Headwound Harry. His first set of head staples were received when he tripped in the playroom and smacked his head on the corner of the moulding. Was I supposed to prevent him from playing? Accidents can happen anytime. Don't beat yourself up.

ashlyebrink said...

You are not alone!! And I like what Karri said (although for me it is easier said than done!) about punching mom guilt in the throat. I feel it is some way every single day since I work. Then I'm home and try not to be "no" all the time... they have lessons to learn and one thing I'm trying to do better about is "let them be little." You are doing a great job and accidents will happen even with you standing right there. Don't let mom guilt take over. p.s. my son has been in the ER with a busted chin and lip. It. Happens. Cut yourself some slack and have a wonderful day!!

Sarah Halstead said...

It is hard not to feel guilty. Thankfully Dustyn was never a climber and Carsyn can't of course. So I have no advice, but I think you are doing just fine!

Southern Living: Preppy Style said...

Been there. Told Lolly a million times not to jump on furniture. We finally ended up in the hospital after she fell off one and hit her head on a glass table. Took months of mederma to get that scar to disappear. My reaction to Lolly "This is what I mean by you'll crack your head open, when I'm telling you not to jump on the couch." She looked at me like a big bright lightbulb went off in her head and said "Ohhhhhhh........" That's when I realized that real life experiences are the way the kids learn. They don't learn until it hits them (literally) smack on the forehead. So I let the guilt go and let her learn whether it's through cracking her head open or getting a math question wrong on a test. It's just how they learn. I'm still a helicopter parent though. :-)

Jess Beer said...

Don't beat yourself up! Kids (and I'm sure ESPECIALLY boys) are going to fall. They're going to hurt themselves and do crazy things, and you can only do so much. I know it's going to happen with Abbie, so I try not to worry too much.

Amanda M. said...

I was at work when my daughter shoved a plastic bead up her nose. I was at work when my little guy cracked his eyebrow on the corner of the table and needed the medical grade super glue to close it. I was at work when my daughter came down with Croup and ended up in the hospital. I was at work when my little guy fell and hit his head and ended up with a concussion.

Talk about Mom guilt!! It's a real thing, but it's also life. I am unable to stay at home with my kids, so I have Mom guilt for working all day. I have Mom guilt for not always being there for everything. But, I can't change it. It is what it is.... So I just try to make the most of the time I AM home with them. {By the way, they get hurt when at I'm home too! lol)

Discovery Street said...

I think it's totally normal. And something we will fight till the day we die.

Krista said...

You're definitely not alone. I fight the mommy guilt too. I feel the most guilty when I let my 4 year old watch a lot of tv and when I let her eat junk food. I know little treats aren't harmful, and I know we're active and get enough exercise, but I just feel bad sometimes and like I'm not being a good mom, even though I know deep down I'm a good mom. Thanks for sharing this! It's nice to know we're not alone in our mommy guilt feelings!

Sarah [NurseLovesFarmer.com] said...

You can't prevent everything---like you said. I implement the "furniture is not a jungle gym" rule in my house because I find that Braden can't differentiate between my furniture and his grandparent's, a friend's house, etc. I don't want him climbing on everything and jumping around at other peoples' homes, so I choose to have it as that he cannot do it here either. He's not perfect and I catch him now and again, but he just needs little reminders. I'm sure there's tons I do that others wouldn't approve of! Right now he's eating a cookie at 10:45 AM on the couch in the living room watching "adult" Star Wars...so there ya go!

Becky G said...

You just repeat to yourself that you are doing the best you can. I feel it all the time. Would he have less of a temper if I'd done something different? Does he have too many toys? Do we let him go on the iPad too much? I just have to breathe and let it go.

JenniferAStreet said...

I hear ya with the mom guilt mine stems from working outside of the home. I'm with ya and letting them climb on the furniture. I also have two very active little boys and I do tell them to get down but am not super strict about it because it is wasted energy most of the time I think the hardest part is going to others people houses and them thinking it's ok to do the same there.. ugh boys make their mama's crazy! Hang in there.

Sarah @ The Not Quite Military Wife said...

I think we've all got mom guilt from time to time. The best thing to do is what you are doing, realize that you are a good mom and that you can't hover over your children all the time to make sure they don't get hurt.

Julie Danielle said...

Mom guilt is so hard and so frustrating. I think if you hover too much it isn't good for them. And better to let them have a little freedom.

fifth house on the left | family blog said...

you are not alone girl! i feel this all the time and more recently i feel it every moment of the day. something as silly as feeling guilty because rawley is so delayed on speech and is now in developmental preschool. is it something i could have done better with him? instead of being 10 months pregnant and putting my 17 month old in front of the tv 24/7 because i had absolutely no energy to do anything else. could i have engaged him more? could i have done something better? it sucks i cry a lot about this and i know things could be way worse so i should be thankful that it's just speech {as far as i know}, but it's so hard not to. i'm a mom ;0)

ADSchill said...

Oh the mom guilt. It takes so many forms. Cooper falls almost every day and hurts something. Today it was him falling into the wall head first and getting a big goose egg. I was 6 feet away and couldn't prevent it. Just do your best with the most dangerous things and let the rest go. I know its hard to stop the blaming though. Hopefully the boys will learn some lessons through these falls.

Tania T said...

I have excactly the same problem.My son(18 months) climbs everywhere!.We've turned the chairs backwards,chanced the interior and he's still finds places to do it!Like a monkey as you said!It's so frustrating because I've already told it a thousand times.So as my husband..The day he fell off from the dinning table (yes, the dinning table-don't ask me how a 18 month baby boy did that! ) , my heart broke.The good thing was that nothing serious happened.Although was so scared and cried a lot the day after that he didi it again..and again..and again.And he fell off again.But nothing!Sometimes it is so complicated what to do with those tremendous boys.Sometimes I want to scream,cry,laugh or altogether.Every mommy wants for her child the best that she thinks that it is.Not the most expencive or supergrand.So Mom Guilts when things go off track?Sureee...all the time.You are not alone..

Jordan said...

I'm not a mom, but you seem like a pretty great one to me! :) Don't let it eat you up, some kids are some climbers and will get hurt no matter how much you try to prevent it. Hey, I'm almost 24 and constantly have bruises from running into things! ;)

Kiara Buechler said...

I actually never thought about them getting hurt from jumping around the furniture, I just don't allow it because I don't want it damaging our stuff, now I feel bad I didn't even think about how something could happen. DO NOT feel guilty about this. Both times Dane had seriously damage to his face he was simply running on the ground, one time bashing his nose on a table, the other bashing his forehead on a step at the school playground. Neither could have been prevented. Kids are going to get hurt, just like we hurt ourselves as adults, all we can do is hope and pray that stitches are the extent of the necessary repairs. XOXO.

jessica | piganddac said...

First of all, just want to say from another mom with two boys - it's impossible to keep those wild beasts in check 24/7! Boys are so physical and constantly pushing the limits, so don't feel bad. It's a story he'll tell with pride one day when he's older, haha!

Whenever the mom guilt comes over me, I try to tell myself that I'm human, I'm constantly learning from my experiences with my children, and to just strive to learn lessons and move on without dwelling (easier said than done!).

Amanda Jillian B said...

Mom guilt sucks but I completely understand the couch jumping. I have the same problem with my son.