Guilty as sin: What makes gives you a parent guilt trip?

mother scolds her child

You may have seen that recently, Little Tikes came up with a list of 30 “guilt triggers” which are at the root of our parent guilt trips as part of a campaign for parents to ditch the parental guilt and enjoy the great outdoors this summer.

Well I can’t say much about enjoying the great British summer this year with the appalling weather we’ve had, but I CAN say I agree with the notion that we spend too much time feeling guilty when it comes to our kids. From their list of 30 “guilt triggers”, there were about 10 or so that I really identified with (but numbers 8, 11, 14, 15 & 18 really struck a raw nerve).

Here is the list below and I thought it would be interesting to see how many of the list you identify with. They say to be a parent is to be guilty, but the question is, do you feel just a little bit guilty, rather guilty, or guilty as sin….?

  1. Being too busy to give my children more attention
  2. Working long hours
  3. Doing ‘jobs’ when you should be spending quality time playing
  4. Working late
  5. Not being able to afford everything they want
  6. Not spending enough ‘quality time’ together
  7. Not playing enough outside with them
  8. Returning to work after my maternity leave (mums only)
  9. Not going on more days out
  10. Not spending enough time in the fresh air with your children
  11. Not having more patience
  12. Not being more ‘fun’ when you play with them
  13. Relying on the TV to keep them entertained while you get on with chores / work
  14. Telling your children off
  15. Putting my child into nursery/childminder
  16. Wanting to go to work instead of being a stay-at-home parent
  17. Going back to work and leaving your wife / girlfriend home with a baby (dads only)
  18. Wanting to have time away from my children every now and then
  19. Not earning enough money for one of us to be home with our child / children
  20. Not going on holidays abroad
  21. Having to leave them with someone else to go to work during the school holidays
  22. Spending too much time and energy on the household chores
  23. Not having more money to spend on new clothes
  24. Not being around to do the school run
  25. Not helping more with homework
  26. Not volunteering for more school activities
  27. Telling them to put down gadgets when you are just as addicted to yours
  28. Not seeing other children enough
  29. Checking work emails/taking work-related phone calls when you are at home with your children
  30. Not having enough time or money to provide freshly cooked and healthy meals

So how did you get on? Do you feel guilty about many of these…or have you, perhaps, learnt to let go of your guilt, and enjoy a little more…?

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  1. Yes that about covers it! I’ve got a good handle on the guilt thing and pretty good at not giving myself a hard time with the exception of being outside. I really don’t like the cold and my son loves being outdoors! Any patch of grass will do. I’m trying to develop habits to make sure I take him out regularly – rain or shine.

    • We just broke down on the side of a main road for an hour and half and my 2 year old was the happiest I’ve seen her in ages – a bloody miracle! Definitely could only be the fact that she could be outdoors for all that time…

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