Mommy Guilt

05 May

This morning my 3 year old made a huge effort to help me with the morning routine and tried an activity beyond her current ability. She was so excited when she came to tell me and show me her work. My reaction: I first saw the mess she had made and how my work-load had effectively increased. So instead of praising her and then adding a little “maybe we could do it even better this way” clause. I scolded her pretty harshly. I wasn’t even really mad and even as I was admonishing her I wanted to stop, instead of which I just carried on and on till my husband came in.

The worst of it all was, when I apologized to her and told her that I made a mistake and she really did a great job of helping, she immediately forgave me. In fact these were her exact words, “It’s ok mommy, we all make mistakes, we should just not make them again. I love you so much”.10 minutes down the line she had even forgotten the incident, and was giggling away at my pathetic attempts to make her giggle and make-up.

Sadly, I know I can’t take back what I said to her and I can’t seem to forgive myself or forget my hurtful behaviour. In this case she was way more mature than me. What she said to me when I was ranting at her is something I’ll never forget ” Mummy, please don’t be angry and scold me, I made a mistake by mistake. I promise I’ll be careful next time”. I just hope I haven’t scared her off from trying to learn new skills in the future. Though I tell her that no child is ‘bad’ and only their behaviour may be ‘bad or unacceptable’ at times, today I truly feel like a bad mommy.

I think I can apply today’s learning to my professional life as well. As my guru always said “respond (to a situation) don’t react”. It’s only when I react that I end up regretting my actions or words. I really need to start contemplating and responding instead.

Your Thoughts:

Have you ever reacted when you should have responded? How do parents manage their guilt when they so obviously mess up with a parenting incident? (Or am I the only one? Feeling wretched now.) Why can’t we seem to forgive others and ourselves as easily as children?


Posted by on May 5, 2011 in Lessons in Parenting


Tags: , ,

10 responses to “Mommy Guilt

  1. adventuresinbabywearing

    May 18, 2011 at 3:04 am

    This has me so choked up. Yes, I can relate…


  2. tracey

    May 13, 2011 at 3:12 am

    Dude, I react incorrectly all the time.

  3. Sanjana

    May 6, 2011 at 7:31 pm

    aww! don’t beat yourself up sweetie! You’re a fine mom! I’ve seen you in action! But, we’re all humans and we WILL make mistakes. Keep working on the response rather than react action. And your daugther’s forgiven you already, go on and give yourself a break and do that yourself.

    You’ll both be fine! :o)

    • nmaha

      May 7, 2011 at 5:29 pm

      Thanks Sanju. You’re right I just need to learn from this and move on. Will take a leaf of of V’s book and forgive my self this once.

  4. Mwa (Lost in Translation)

    May 6, 2011 at 10:01 am

    Of course I’ve done that, too! You’re only human and we all make mistakes. The fact that you are wanting to do better next time is enough. Children are not stupid. They see the love and forget the bungled attempts.

    • nmaha

      May 7, 2011 at 5:27 pm

      Thank you, thank you, thank you. Though I’m supposed to be a mature adult, hearing this from an experienced mom of three really does make me feel a little better.

  5. november grey

    May 6, 2011 at 3:30 am

    Well, children teach us, don’t they? I have never seen more clearly than through my daughter’s innocent eyes. The most important, and beautiful lesson here is that you’re teaching your daughter about forgiveness.

    And nothing is bigger than that.

    Don’t be so hard on yourself. Like you said, she’s already forgotten. You love her, she knows that, and it was a day to learn – for both of you.

    Much love,

    Tanya xx

    November Grey & Secondhand Star

    • nmaha

      May 8, 2011 at 12:32 am

      Wow! I never thought of it that way – teaching them about apologizing and forgiving – such a great perspective. Again, thank you from one mom to another.

  6. nmaha

    May 5, 2011 at 11:56 pm

    Just the fact that you’re trying to help should make him happy. And I guess a few tries will get you there 🙂

  7. Blond Duck

    May 5, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    Popped in from SITS! I react without thinking all the time. My biggest struggle right now is figuring out how to help my husband–every time I think I’m helping, I’m making things worse!


Let me know what you think. It means a lot more to me than you'll ever know .

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: