Saturday, 30 June 2012

Parental Guilt Syndrome

This week I have been a bit poorly. I have had what can only be described as a heavy weight hanging over me. Google had no answers, neither did NHS Direct. I have had to self-diagnose. What I have been suffering from is Parental Guilt Syndrome. Here is my explanation:

Parental Guilt Syndrome comes from a fear of not doing enough for one's children. Or when you fuck up. Mothers who are especially lazy are most likely to suffer from this. Somehow,though, these mothers still find the energy to feel guilty.

Three things happened this week:

Okay, in my defence sports day was rescheduled. I had planned our holiday around sports day so we'd definitely miss it. However, due to that one nice day in April being our summer, it pissed it down and was moved to this week. So I actually didn't find out until the day. It came down to a decision between Starbucks with my mate or Sport's Day...and, well, I didn't want to disappoint my friend, or my cappuccino.
My son didn't really mind - EXCEPT there was an incident (see below).

My eldest can be a bit of a hypochondriac. Quite often I have to use the lines "If I don't see vomit, then you're not really sick" and "If there's no blood then you don't need a bandage." Really, I should have shares in Bandaid with the amount of plasters my children use.
The other night he was coughing and waking me up to the point where I was convinced that he was forcing the cough just so I'd sleep in his room. He was still managing to do somersaults on the trampoline at 9pm and eat 573 Oreos. But at Sports Day, he practically passed out with having trouble breathing and was a very sorry sight sat in the shade whilst everyone was doing the Three Legged Race. Or so I'm told - because I wasn't there.
I decided to take him to the doctors and, would ya believe it, he totally wasn't faking. He's developed asthma and had to go on the nebulizer plus be prescribed steroids.

My toddler is obsessed with painting. The extent of craft materials I allow in the house is one 27p paint palette from Asda. It's all he wants to do at the moment but he is so rubbish at actually getting the paint on the paper plus he always knocks over the water. Yesterday I told him that the paints had run out of batteries.

I've messed up a bit, you see? I'm hoping that my kids survive being parented better than I survive doing the parenting. Maybe I'm doing my best with what I have to work with. But Parental Guilt Syndrome is a fecker. It's been weighing heavy on me.

Thank god it can be cured with a swift dose of gin.


  1. We've all done the faking illness bit. I sent my eldest to School with two spoonfuls of Calpol and "if your really ill the school will call". Lo and behold at 10am the School call as he has fell asleep on the floor at circle time. One phone call to NHS Direct, one trip to A&E and a three day stay on the Children's ward later he had Tonsillitis, Chest Infection and a Bacterial Infection in his tummy and his body was basically on shut down mode. Oops bad mum! (oh and dont get me started on crafts!!)

  2. So funny I love your honesty it's so refreshing!! I too don't do crafts !! Feel so guilty that I don't as have a friend who works all week and spends all day Sunday doing amazing crafty things with kids!!i always think well next week I'll go and buy lots of crafty stuff and will make the effort ... But it never happens!!!

  3. my son had the exact same thing - developed asthma on his sports day when he was 6 - he was too shy to tell the teacher he couldn't breath -cue most of the evening in a&e. This year he also had a cough leading up to sports day so pre-empted it and cut out the middle man went straigh to docs and also got steriods etc. Its seasonal by all accounts hayfever related and SO many kids are getting it. When they cough early hours its struggling to breath rather than cold cough but unless you've had it before you would have never have known. Hope he's better now.

  4. Brilliant!!! I was in stitches reading this, especially the crafts part (I've been known to doing that too!) Keep up the brilliant blogging - I'm subscribing right now...

  5. Paints running out of batteries? You are a genius, Claire.

  6. Claire, god damn I love this blog. I have pulled everyone of these things and every one has come back to bite me on the ass, well, not he going to Starbucks instead of Sports Day, that's well ballsy :-)
    Every time I make a mistake I an reminded that I am lucky to be one of the parents that cares enough to feel guilty (like I'm feeling now for telling he was slower than my 83 year old father while we were walking the dog).
    Great post - and like everyone else it seems, I too hate crafts.

  7. Heh heh - love it as ever Claire - my worst one is from my 6yr old - pleeeeaas can we go to the playground to play football!?" - my replays vary -
    - no - I'm not feeling well
    - no- it's definitely going to rain
    -no - I'm waiting for a delivery to arrive
    - no- the dog doesn't want to ( though she's standing at the front door with lead in mouth)
    ..... and basically just no. Dreadful mother.

  8. Love it - I think we have all been there! I insisted that my big man go to nursery one day and then he threw up all over the car.

  9. In want to have a copy of this blog buried with me when I go.

  10. Working on ambulances my tolerance of illness can be a little harsh to say the least! No one is ever ill or injured as far as i'm concerned so when the boy tells me he has a tummy ache I ignore it! That is until he vomits on my crotch! As for coffee with a friend, we all have our vices! Chill your beans! You are doing a fab job! Great blog as always!

  11. We have indeed all been there. For instance, right now I feel guilty for reading this blog in the kitchen while in the room next door my youngest is bashing his brother's brains out with a Duplo ambulance.

  12. It's a bugger, eh? Don't worry. In about 15 years it'll go!

  13. There should be some ailment called 'child guilt syndrome' ~ the upteenth they don't do their chores, they backtalk, or just don't hear us parents.

    I always say to my DH that if he doesn't go to the doctor, then he isn't really sick, and therefore cannot lie in bed for days.

  14. rubbishmotherbutlovelywithit1 July 2012 at 13:26

    I love you. That is all.

  15. I actually forgot sports day this week. E didn't care but milked the guilt to get chocolate so now I think we're even.

  16. Thanks for that. Being a parent is like being a Catholic - both come with compulsory guilt attached.

  17. Holy cow, you're ME!
    This had me rolling, especially the paint with batteries. Read it out to the Hubby, who's still laughing ;-)

  18. I think "the paints have run out of batteries" is the best thing I have ever heard. I don't mind crafts, but we have an "only on the kitchen floor" rule, meaning we don't end up with painty water all over the carpet.

  19. I couldn't go to my son's last sports day because I had to take the eldest to the chiropodist no, seriously I did. He had an infected ingrowing big toe nail and now needs it surgically removing!

    And as for not believing your children when they say they are ill? I did that for the last time in June 2009 when it ended up with my son fitting on the floor and me dialling 999. I now believe him even if I don't!


  20. help I have never suffered from Parental Guilt Syndrome. Maybe I can get a pill for this? Any ideas??

  21. Look I sent my youngest to school last week and she puked in the car after hubs had dropped me off in work! Guilty Yes (but I didn't have to clean it up - I don't do puke!)