What makes a good mum/parent?(4 Posts)
Hi MN, I'm writing to you as I don't know where to begin. As my username says, I'm feeling incredibly overwhelmed right now. I'm a single mum to two fantastic little girls and tonight everything has got on top of me. I love my children more than anything in the world and the sense of guilt i'm feeling Is unbearable. I feel like I'm doing a terrible job of raising my children and it doesn't help having an ex-partner who makes indirect put downs about my abilities as a mother via the children. I've always been terribly inconsistent with housework, we're never dirty but most days the house is untidy and the thought of someone dropping in unannounced fills me with the fear. We do socialise with other people a lot but I prefer to do it out of the house. Tonight I came downstairs after putting my children to bed and realised we have to be up early in the morning to go ice skating and I've not laid out any clothes for them- it then got me thinking I never lay any clothes out, I expect them to pick their own clothes which is perhaps a tall order for a 9 and 6 year old? I'm always showing my children affection and i'll always do activities with them or sit and watch a film they want, our time together is always geared around their interests. But I wonder if all of that is less important than having a sense of order? Don't get me wrong, my children are well fed, bathed daily, clothes are clean, warm etc but I worry i'm not doing well enough. It makes it harder my ex tells my eldest that I don't buy them nice clothes and he worries i'm not taking proper care of them (this was in response to him finding out my youngest went to school with odd socks on). I know it's probably no excuse but I was ill most of this year and finished cancer treatment in June. I was a hopeless housekeeper prior to my illness but I think it's made me even less inclined to waste time cleaning. I want my children to feel secure and I worry I'm not providing that. My ex also got most of our assets including the family home in our divorce settlement so I do not have the income he does to provide for them. He has told them next year he plans to buy a big house with his new partner and her children and they will be able to live with him then. I don't really know if there's anything you can specifically advise on as such but I wanted to reach out and see if any of you do have insight.
Odd socks?? You do know you risk her feet falling off, right?
Ignore the ex, ignore your nagging doubts, sounds like you're doing fine. My dc of the same age pick their own clothes, and I roll my eyes at the clashing colours and inappropriate for weather choices.
They will remember how interested you were in what they had to say and how much time you spent with them. Not that you ironed their pants.
Although I agree to some extent order and calm is good. Generally tidy house (hugienic toilets and kitchen, clean sheets, clean clothes, regular baths or showers, enough sleep and decent ish food most of the time). I don't see any evidence they're not getting that. Are they?
I think it's great you allow your girls the responsibility & independence to choose their own clothing for the following day. I don't think your home needs to be immaculate but I believe you do a fantastic job of keeping it tidy as well as your children.
There's no such thing as a great parent. There is such a thing as doing your best by your children. Ask yourself these questions next time you're feeling a little low or guilty;
Are my children happy?
Are my children clean?
Are they fed well?
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