HAVE I BEEN THE BEST MUM (THAT I COULD HAVE BEEN)?

THIS is the question I keep asking myself at the moment.

The one that is continually repeating itself over and over in my frazzled brain. Have I been the best Mum? Have I? Have I?

Have I been as good as I could have been? (To date, obviously.)

Like thousands of parents across the country, yesterday was a big day in our household because after months of waiting, we finally found out where Elsie will be going to school in September.

And we’re incredibly lucky. We did get our first choice of schools and Elsie will be going to the most fantastic primary school, that we think (and hope) will suit her perfectly.

Oh, the relief! Oh, the happiness!

(I know many of you reading this, will understand.)

But the whole school thang, besides being totally nerve wracking, has also brought up a whole bunch of feelings that I really wasn’t expecting. Certainly not so soon.

Because whilst I’m so excited for my girl, I’m also really emotional. Like really.

Because whilst I’m super happy for her and for what will hopefully be a wonderful new chapter in her life, I’m also feeling so sad that our weekday time together will soon be coming to an end.

That our ‘mummy & daughter” days will soon be done.

And whilst I know how fortunate I am to work part time and have more time with her, than many parents are able to have with their children, I just can’t help but feel that time is ticking and that it’s going far too fast.

And as the clock ticks down to starting school time and as the days pass by in a flurry, this question keeps on rearing it’s intrusive head. Keeps on persisting.

And it’s making me question everything about my parenting.

Everything that I’ve done to date. Forcing me to look back and think about the choices I’ve made and what I could – and dare I say it – should, have done differently.

We do at the time what we think is right of course. At that moment.

But I have to admit, there’s much I would change, if I could go back in some kind of motherhood tardis.

If I could hop foot it into a phone box and go back in time.

I’d have given us more space to be together, just the two of us. I’d have had less visitors in those precious first few weeks. I’d have listened to my own parenting instinct and ignored the ‘well meaning’ advice.

I’d have taken her to nursery when she was a little younger so she wouldn’t have suffered so dreadfully from separation anxiety and could have settled better. I’d have cuddled her more in the middle of the night when she couldn’t sleep, instead of trying the dreadful yet recommended ‘cry it out’ method.

I’d have put my foot down when people tried to interfere in my parenting. I’d have done less of the ‘right thing’ when it comes to pleasing other people and done more of the ‘right thing’ when it came to us.

I’d have cleaned a whole lot less and played a whole lot more. I’d have worked fewer days and taken more days off.

I’d have taken more deep breaths when I felt like I was going to shout. I’d have been kinder to us both when we were exhausted.

I’d have ignored the housework, switched off my phone more and focused on my girl. I’d have stopped watching the clock and appreciated the moments.

Have I been the best Mum?

Well no, not always sadly. I don’t think I have. Looking back I think I’ve made many mistakes.

But although there are so many things I would change if I could, it seems that thankfully, my wee cherub would not change me.

As we walked home yesterday, hand in hand from a celebratory ‘going to school soon’ lunch, she stopped me in the street to tell me that she loved me “sooooo much” and that I was “the best mum in the world.”

And whilst I don’t think this has always been the case, I gotta say, her testament will absolutely do for me.

 


What do you think? Am the only parent to feel this way? Does thinking about your little one starting school in September make you emotional too? As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Lips

 

 

 

 

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11 Discussions on
“HAVE I BEEN THE BEST MUM (THAT I COULD HAVE BEEN)?”
  • Although my little girl isn’t starting school yet (next sept for us) I feel like I could have written this post! As mums we always have that guilt of not being good enough or not doing enough with them. I go through that guilt on a daily basis I think! I’m pretty sure your an awesome mummy and 100% know that your little girl feels the same. The fact that your worrying if you’ve been good enough proves that you care, if you didn’t care you wouldn’t be worried. Congratulations that your little lady got the school she wanted. It’s the start of a new chapter xx

  • Aww I love your posts. They always make me feel emotional! My little girl has just turned two and has started nursery and it’s breaking my heart. I don’t think I’ve ever felt as guilty since becoming a mummy. I worry that she’ll resent me for sending her off on her own with strangers. I worry that the teachers won’t know what she’s saying when she asks for things. I worry that she will miss us and these thoughts just keep going round and round my head! It’s nice to see I’m not alone and lots (if not all!) of mums are going through the same thought processes on a daily basis. I always get reflective at the end of the the day and I think it’s human nature to focus on the parts of the day that haven’t gone well instead of remembering the hundreds of little ordinary but lovely moments that make up a day. Treasure your time with Elsie before she starts school – time really does go too quickly!x

    • Ah Fallon, thank you! Definitely human nature to reflect and thank goodness! It helps us make improvements doesn’t it? And I hear you about the guilt…I don’t think that ever goes x

  • Well done on her getting the first choice for school. It’s always brilliant when you worry about what you may or may not have done, and then your child comes out with something so adorable that makes you melt.

    Generally I don’t regret what I’ve done parenting wise, but I work full time and sometimes a lazy slow coach boy does make me shout a lot in the mornings! I’d love to not do so, but I’m not sure being quiet and ignoring him would get him to move any faster. There’s also the wonder about whether I should have pushed him on learning letters and numbers before he started school. He wasn’t interested and it takes a lot of bribery to get him to do his homework now too. But overall he’s a great little boy and I’m proud of how I’ve brought him up. I would say the OH too but he doesn’t get involved with anything to do with supporting him for school which is the biggest failure in parenting so far.

    Hopefully you’ll be able to make the most of the remaining pre-school time you have together.

    • Thanks so much Emma. We are absolutely thrilled. Parenting is never easy is it? Hardest but most rewarding job in the world. SO glad you’re proud of the work you have done with your little boy. :) x

  • Bless, what a little sweetheart. I often wonder the same question myself too. There are things I should do and I would be a better mum for it. But overall, I think you just do your best and that is all you can do. It is easy looking back and thinking should have, could have, would have… But you make choices in the moment with best you have.

  • Oh Kate, don’t be hard on yourself! As a mum I know there have been plenty of times that I have not been the mother that I would have wished to be. But ultimately I have done the best that I could at the time. I learn in my parenting journey everyday, and yes like you there are many things that I would have done differently if I had the chance again (and have been able to second time round), but even a second chance can go ‘wrong’. We are human. Yes, things will change in September but the wonderful thing about your daughter growing up is that despite less time together your relationship can actually deepen further. Xxx

    • Thank you Alice and yes you’re absolutely right, so looking forward to the future with my beautiful girl! x

  • So glad that she got into the school you wanted for her. This post really struck a cord with me as I often wonder if I have been the best mum I could have been to my children too, the answer is no. I often wish I could change things. You know what though I think the fact they we even worry about this shows that we are good mums who do are best for our children. xx

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