|Monster artwork by Ellie age 4|
I find myself feeling guilty daily, whether it's because I haven't played with the girls enough, or the baby had to cry a bit while I took Ellie to the toilet or put Phoebe down for a nap. Or that I raised my voice and hurried them out the door because we were in a rush and running late. I feel guilty for looking at the clock and wondering if it's bedtime, guilty for moaning when I know I am beyond lucky, guilty for stupid things like giving them kinder eggs this afternoon instead of fruit. I feel guilty if I do and guilty if I don't. It's all totally pointless guilt.
Then there's the niggly guilt in the background, guilt about how Ellie had been to baby swimming, baby sensory, baby massage, baby sign and baby singing by 6months old and Lottie is bundled here there and everywhere on her big sisters schedules and woken up from naps to collect them from playschool without a baby class in sight. On the subject of playschool I feel guilty for sending the girls when I am a stay at home mum, I need a break and feel guilty for that too. I feel guilty putting the girls in each other's hand me downs, I feel guilty when they all need me at the same time and I have to decide who needs me most, I feel guilty for the amount of times the older two are told to 'wait a minute' (or 10) while I feed, settle or change the baby. It's ridiculous I know, Lottie does not care about the baby classes, the girls love playschool and need to go as much as I do, they don't mind or even know about the hand me downs and they love each other and having siblings to share their day with fiercely. I now feel guilty for feeling guilty :)
Oli is so good at re-centering me and during my mummy guilt rambles to him he always says the same thing 'look at the girls, they are so happy, if you ever doubt you are doing a good job, just look at them.' I am assuming he means when they are being sweet and not lying down having a moment in a supermarket aisle or yanking each others hair :) They are fed, clean and loved, so, so loved, and receive enough cuddles and kisses each day to sink a battleship. So with that in mind I'm making myself a promise which I really hope I can keep, to be less hard on myself, push the mummy guilt aside, to accept that I'm doing my best and that that's enough, more than enough.