I have to be honest, before I became a parent and started reading various mummy bloggers, I’d not actually heard of “mummy guilt”. So when I started reading post after post about it, I realised that it is something that, despite the name, isn’t solely limited to mothers. Here’s basic explanation of what “mummy guilt” is; the feeling of guilt because of what you do or do not do for or with your child. It is typically experienced by stay-at-home parents (again, not just mothers), but I can tell you now, it isn’t just limited to stay-at-home parents.
You see, I have a full time job during the day, so when I get home, the first thing I want to do is spend some time with my daughter. But despite that, I still feel guilty about a lot of things in our life and lifestyle. I have “daddy guilt”, and its a feeling that never seems to go away.
Now, I don’t think I do anything immensely different from any other parent… My weekends are largely focused around my daughter, as are my evenings before she goes to bed. And yet, I still worry that I’m not being a “good enough” parent for her. This seems to be a very common feeling among parents too… So with that in mind, I certainly think that “daddy guilt” is a thing, although I find the terminology of “mommy guilt” and “daddy guilt” to be very archaic…
So, with that in mind, here are some of the reasons I suffer from “parent guilt”..
Not Spending Enough Time With My Daughter
As I already said, my evenings and weekends are all about my daughter, when she’s awake. However, during the weekends I also need to do the housework, cook and wash clothes. So that means there are moments when she is playing by herself, without me. It is the moments that make me feel so guilty.
I feel like I should be spending every waking minute on the floor, playing with her. But if I were to do that, then the house would become a pigsty, and then there would be more mess for my wife to clean up during the week. So, we share the housework and cleaning. But this just means that I am spending less time with my daughter on the weekends. On top of this, when I get home from work during the week, I spend about 30 – 45 minutes playing with my daughter before we all sit down for dinner.
After that, I go and have a shower and do all of the manly stuff us men do after a shower. This takes a chunk out of the short amount of time in evening before she goes to bed. And every night, when we put her in bed, I think to myself “why didn’t you just stay and play a bit longer before the shower”…
Being Inside The House Too Much
This is actually becoming a bigger thing for me now, as the days get colder and colder. Basically, we spend an awful lot of time inside the house, playing in the living room, rather than going outside. I mean, we have a lot of toys that she can play with, and she seems to have fun…. But part of me worries if I am hindering her development by not taking her out to the woods or something to run around and explore.
I try to make things as stimulating as possible for her, but as my job tends to have me doing 10 – 11 hours of work every day, there are times when I’m just too exhausted. I end up flopped on the floor whilst my daughter plays around me.
This just adds to the guilt I feel, as I am scared that she won’t develop and grow properly because she’s stuck inside so often.
Getting Frustrated When She Wants To Eat But Refuses Everything
I’m sure this is something every parent goes through. Your child starts to cry, very loudly, because they are hungry and it is lunch or dinner time. But then, when you get some food for them, they cry more because they don’t want it. So you try something else, over and over, just getting the same result.
I feel really guilty whenever this becomes frustrating… Especially if I am completely exhausted from a long work week.
Not Getting To Play With Other Kids
This sort of goes hand in hand with being inside the house so much… My wife and I don’t really have a lot of friends, and to be honest, we’re not the most sociable of people. The problem is, this means that my daughter doesn’t get to spend that much time around other kids.
I mean, we take her to soft play areas every now and then, and she gets on with the other kids completely fine, but I still worry that it isn’t enough. I feel guilty, scared that I am stifling her social development and starting her off on the wrong foot with other people. I mean, I’m not a boring old Dad… I’m still a kid myself in many ways, and she has a lot of fun with my wife and I. But I still feel bad that she doesn’t get to spend more time with other children.
And That’s All Folks
Parent Guild, as I am now going to call it whenever I mention it, is definitely something that many of us go through. We all want to do the best for our children, but in the end, we’re only human. At times we’ll get worn out and frustrated. And that is what leads us to feeling guilty.
Have you experienced Parent Guilt before? What was it that made you feel guilty? Let me know in comments! Perhaps we can all help each other!