Its been a long while, but something was tugging on me to write on this topic.
Basically, I'm referring to parents who are feeling some form of guilt in regards to their parenting despite all of their efforts to divert their child(ren) from the crooked path. Let me first say to you, "Stop feeling guilty..."
Our children are growing up in a society that encourages independence early on- almost as early as infancy! Well- toddlers, who are showing US how to use our own cell phones. Our preschoolers are wildin' out of control when we don't do what they want. And as for school-age children to teenagers... they are basically acting as though they don't need us and they can raise themselves.
So needless to say, that's why the wine and beer industry is BOOMING right now!
All kidding aside, parenting these days has became that much more difficult beyond our normal parenting duties. Technology such as Google Alexa, XBoxOne (and the like), Instagram, and Amazon are our children's "go-to" and "be all". We are in constant competition with technology and with our children's peers. Could you even imagine our children operating without having cell phones for us to call them after school or while they are out at an event without us? Its possible, we know, because we did it when we were kids! And what about when your family goes to a restaurant to eat and everyone- including you- is on or interacting with their technology versus with each other. Its rough.
But this is NOT the "blame game" so don't misunderstand these observations. YES, we are ultimately responsible for their safety, teaching them basic life skills, modeling self-regulation, building healthy social skills for interactions with others, and helping them to grow into productive members of society. However, amidst the busyness and stress, we need to remind ourselves that it's OK to take a moment for ourselves. Guilt-Free.
When we take time out for ourselves, we need it. It's not selfish, it's smart. Don't feel guilty about it. When we are talking on the phone to someone who really needs it or even better someone we really need to vent with- Don't feel guilty about it. When we are taking a vacation day to sit home and be alone all day while the kids are at school- Don't feel guilty (I know I'm not the only one!).
Of course anything done in excess is too much and can negatively affect us and/or our loved ones in one way or another. Balancing your time and attention is key. But once a month or a few times a year is not going to cause our children to spiral in the wrong direction. So, if you have engaged in self-satisfying activities (either for personal gain or career wise) Don't feel guilty about it. Your children want you to be happy. When you're happy, your children will be too!
If they experience times when they are not "first" it will not be the end of their world. It will actually teach patience, model self-care, and build character.