As I’ve learned over the last couple of years, parenting is full of self-doubt and guilt. We do things the way we feel is right but that doesn’t stop you questioning yourself and wondering if it really was the correct way of going about something. We feel guilty about things we do ‘for their own good’.
So, in an attempt to combat this here are some things which I have done, but I am not sorry for doing, even if I do feel guilty about doing some of them.
- I am not sorry that after you took over an hour to eat your dinner I told you you didn’t have enough time for dessert before bed.
- I am not sorry that I meant it when I said if you didn’t eat the food we gave you (which you said was the ‘best meal ever’ last time you had it) then you would have go to bed hungry.
- I am not sorry that after repeated warnings about standing on the sofa I made you sit on the floor. No, crying and sobbing how much you regret it won’t make me change my mind.
- I am not sorry that I removed you from the bath after you refused to sit down and slipped over, nearly banging your head.
- I am not sorry that I ended your bath after you weed in the water just after I asked if you needed to use the toilet.
- I am not sorry that I didn’t replace the toy that you broke because you weren’t paying attention to what you were doing with it, or stood on it… mostly stood on it.
- I am not sorry that I refused to read you the pop-up book which you stole off the shelf and pulled all the pop-up bits off of.
- I am not sorry that I followed through on the warning I gave you about strapping you in to your booster seat at the dining table if you didn’t start sitting still.
- I am not sorry that I didn’t give you much sympathy when you got upset after deliberately wetting yourself for the second time that day and quoting my words back to me from the first time “Don’t worry, it doesn’t matter”.
- I am not sorry that I will not tell off your brother for stealing a toy from you unless you at least make some sort of attempt to use words to get it back. Shouting “NOOOOO!” while looking at me is not the best way to resolve your conflict.
- I am not sorry that I used the fact you just hurt yourself after doing precisely what I warned you about doing as a lesson in why you shouldn’t have been doing it in the first place.
- I am not sorry that we have only bought one of each toy, so you have to learn to share (ok, maybe a little bit sorry when there is screaming involved).
- I am not sorry that I won’t let you ‘help’ by carrying a boiling-hot drink (or other equally-dangerous-to-toddler item) to your Daddy.
- I am not sorry that I make you try food for the first time before allowing you to say “I don’t like this”.
- I am not sorry that I will continue to serve you food that you say you don’t like because I know that sometimes (most of the time) you will change your mind (eventually).
- I am not sorry that we are your parents and always will be even when you don’t like us.
One of the best pieces of advice we’ve been given about having children is:
“You are not there to be their friend, you are there to be their parent”
And sometimes that means doing things which makes you very unpopular with your children, even if those things do keep them safe and/or teach them a valuable lesson.