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Parent Guilt? 7 Guilty As Charged Moments

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I’ve seen so many stories lately about how to overcome, how to limit and how not to feel guilty. The bottom line is, if you’re a parent, you probably feel guilty on a daily basis and that’s just a normal symptom of parenting.

Unlike driving, getting into college or passing an exam, there are no set guidelines when you enter parenthood. Guilt, unfortunately, comes along with navigating the parenting life that you chose or chose you.

So to get the ball rolling about not feeling guilty about parent guilt, here are 7 of my several guilty parenting moments:

1. School Lunches: This may count for several guilty moments since this has happened more than once, but I either forgot to pack items for my kids’ lunches or forgot to buy a food item from the store. On one of these occasions, I didn’t have any fruit so I packed fruit snacks hoping this would count for their serving of fruit and veggies. And another time, PopTarts.

2. Doctor Visit: I recently took my oldest daughter to the allergist who needed allergy testing and I told her it wouldn’t hurt. She glared at me post appointment, saying I lied. I guess I shouldn't have said anything since I have never had this testing myself.

3. Post Physical Reward: After one of my children’s routine doctor visits, I promised ice cream afterward at one of those stores with all the special toppings to add. Well, we ran out of time post visit and so I stopped at a drug store close to our house, picked up a pint of chocolate and had her get a candy bar. I went home crumbled up her candy bar and added it to her ice cream. Clearly, not the same as she pointed out.

4. Car Line Disaster: We go in for my daughter’s conference and the principal says she needs to see me about me. Okay…so apparently other parents have been complaining about me getting out of the car during car line pick-up/drop-off. My Kindergartener didn’t know how to buckle and unbuckle herself so I was getting out of the car to help her. I guess this is something I should have taught her before the school year started.

5. Cold At Recess: Normally I watch the weather in the morning, but this particular morning the girls really wanted to watch their cartoons, so I skipped it. Well here in the Midwest, what is supposed to be a warm day, can shift in a few hours. I get a call at recess from the school nurse telling me I need to make sure my daughter comes with a light jacket on cool fall days.

6. Oops Bin: My daughter forgot her snack at home and I didn’t even notice she left it. At the end of the day, my daughter told me she kept going to the oops bin where parents drop off "left at home" items to retrieve her snack pack, which never arrived.

7. Girl Scout Patches: I use the dry cleaning to sew on Girl Scout patches. Clearly, not a seamstress.

The bottom line is, parenting is hard and sometimes a thankless job. All parents are doing the best they can and you learn along the way. So guilt is a part of parenting.