As parents, it’s pretty common to experience guilt when it comes to our kids. Whether we feel like we’re not doing enough or doing too much, we’re our own worst critics of our parenting skills. But there is no need to sweat all the little stuff if your kids are turning out pretty okay. Here are 6 common things that parents guilt themselves over when they shouldn’t have to, and how to let that guilt go!
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1. Allowing TV Time
TV has been touted as the root of all evil when it comes to kids. Even fictional bad parents are often shown parking their kids in front of a TV set for hours at a time, and television has been blamed for everything from shorter attention spans to violence.
In all reality, TV is like everything else: too much of a good thing is bad for you. Let go of the guilt trip you put yourself through when you let your child watch a cartoon so you can get some stuff done around the house. As long as your child isn’t spending most of their time in front of a TV set, buying yourself a bit of peace isn’t something to berate yourself for.
2. Liking Your Job
Enjoying your job is something most people wish for, but for parents, it can be a double-edged sword. You’re not spending time with your kids when you’re at work, so it’s only natural to feel a little guilty about not being sad. Let go of the idea you need to hate every second you’re away from your child. Before he or she was born, you had interests you were passionate about, and it’s fine if that hasn’t changed.
3. Wanting Alone Time
Alone time can happen day or night, and it’s the former that parents often feel a bit of guilt about, as their children are awake. But if you need some alone time after a long or trying day, it’s best to experience it so you’re ready to give your all to your child. Take a little bit of time for yourself if you need it, even if your kid is around and ready to play with you.
4. Having A Child-Free Vacation
Being a parent is like a full-time job, but with a reverse effect on your finances and immeasurable rewards. As with a full-time job, you may need a break from daily parenting now and then in the form of a vacation without your children. Don’t feel bad about leaving your children behind with a trusted relative or friend. By taking a little trip of your own, you’ll return to your kid recharged and refreshed, something that allows you to be a better and more relaxed parent.
5. Avoiding Those PTA Meetings
Schools naturally rely on parental involvement, but you may not be able to dedicate much or any of your time to parent volunteering if you’re working or juggling too many things at once as it is. Avoid “guilting” yourself over not being able to volunteer at your child’s school. There are only so many hours in a day, and you can only do what you can do. You may be able to donate items or money to school fundraisers instead, if you really feel bad about not offering your time.
6. Offering Those Oreos
Like TV, feeding your child junk food is one of those things a “good” parent doesn’t do. But, also like TV, it’s fine in moderation. Teaching your child that junk food is only okay on the rare occasion is actually a good life lesson, as you won’t be able to stop them from eating what they want as an adult anyway.