A conversation with my mother the other day got my mind working overtime and set a fire under my Parental Guilt bonfire. Without going into detail, the brief exchange left me with knots in my stomach:
A) Because she made me feel bad.
B) Because I don't ever want to make my children feel like that.
On top of this, somebody asked me how often I read to my children. And you know what, I used to all the time - before it got a bit painful (see http://ministryofmum.blogspot.co.uk/2011/03/chinese-water-torture-and-reading-aloud.html) and before we bought an iPad. I don't hardly read to them at all now.
Cue volcanic explosion of parental guilt.
But let's get things straight. I'm no Kirsty Allsopp of a mother, one of those women born to parent. I am neither willing nor able to build a replica of Big Ben out of an egg box and yogurt pots. But in light of recent events, I've decided to make more of an effort to do more interesting stuff with the children, to stop shouting as much and to just have fun. Especially because my son has to write "News" and I once noticed that he often writes the same thing week in week out. My daughter tells everybody everything and most often it's lies. She tells her friends that I bake, paint, make her clothes and never tell her off. Well, no need to tell her friends the truth, but I suppose I could make the fiction a bit more fact.
So hence my epiphany. If I can just get off this sofa and do stuff with them then my son won't always write "Watched TV, played Angry Birds" and my daughter won't have to lie.
But it's all very well having an epiphany. It's the afterwards that is really really hard. Because you actually have to do something about it and I'm forgetting what kind of a lazy arse person I am. Parental guilt only really lasts about a day before you think "Oh feck it" and slip back into your old ways.
It's been going okay though. I've been reading to them and I've only thrown the book across the room twice. I've been playing shops. My Psycho Mum voice has been filed away for the time being. Hell, we even went to the park.
It's not making Big Ben, but it's something.