I’m currently stood in my kitchen cooking a fish finger sandwich for my husband. I am suddenly hit with a guilty feeling.
I dreamed of family dinner times with homecooked, healthy food everyday. The reality is so different it’s unrecognisable. J has had more take aways this month than I care to admit. Usually J and I sit at the table together to eat, and Daddy has his when he’s home. However there’s times where I have so much to do that J gets a quick reheated dinner (usually the left over spag bol I froze from the weekend) and I pick at stuff in the cupboard later.
The fact is I work 5 days a week. I’m out the house by 8.15am and don’t get home till 4 at the earliest. Even then I usually spend time on and off the phone, answering work emails or messages, sharing posts to the families page for Preschool and generally helping with ‘out of hours’ issues. With my job I can’t just switch off. I am emotionally attached and want to do what I can to help my families…but is this at the cost of my own?
I already blame myself for a lot of J’s issues. He is coming on so, so well and I do try to make sure I do at least one ‘educational’ activity everyday-even if it’s just 5 minutes. So I do try to cut myself some slack, but it doesn’t come easy.
Add to this my own health issues. I have Myalgic Encephalopathy and there are times I genuinely can’t get off the sofa. I can’t stand in front of the cooker and handmake everything. Sometimes shoving something with breadcrumbs on it in the oven is the best I can do.
I’m trying to think of reasons to answer ‘no’…so here goes:
- At weekends meals are homemade and always include vegetables (whether J eats them is a different discussion).
- When Daddy has his days off we will eat as a family at the table (and no devices allowed)
- The take aways are balanced and child friendly portions, minimal to no salt, include vegetables (see above) and generally I aim for better options such as Chinese (rice and chicken with veg) over fried foods (although J doesn’t love a Happy Meal).
- J is a happy boy and he is progressing in his speech and communication.
- We have a great bond. He will always want his Mummy first if he falls down, he will give me the biggest smile when I walk into the room and I’m the one he wants to lick in the forehead (don’t ask!!!)
- Me and Daddy work to put a roof over his head, food (or take aways) on the table and pays for family days out. We don’t work because we want to.
- I get all the out of term time holidays with him (bare in mind that I do have working days, training sessions and paperwork during school holidays so it’s not all ‘free time’). We have lots of fun during our holiday time.
- He has plenty of toys and books that are stimulating and he has fun playing with them. Yes, I may be finishing off work stuff on my phone/iPad but he is safe and happy, and knows I am there.
- I have fought for help for J. I have taken him to appointments and assessments. I have made him pec symbols and I have taught Daddy Makaton. We make sure we give J a way to communicate.
- I always , always make sure that I help J feel secure. This means avoiding sceneries I know will cause him anxiety, amending plans or researching before trips out.
- I love him…so very much. I think that is a big thing. I make sure we have hugs and kisses, and the night time routine is very important as I want him to go to sleep knowing I love him. I think if your child knows you love them then you really can’t be failing too badly 😊
So, I think maybe I am being to harsh on myself. I think the guilt feeling is just a part of being a Mummy (and I’m sure Daddy will agree and has the same feelings of guilt). Maybe, feeling the guilt is what spurs us on and stops us becoming complacent.
What are your thoughts?