We all experience Mummy Guilt to some degree. Some of us more often than others, but I think that it's one thing that we all have in common. It brings up together in some crazy, warped way. We mums put the combined weights of our familys' problems on our shoulders, and whether we can help or not, we take it extremely personally if things don't go exactly to our plan.
We love our families, and we take on their tears and triumphs.
I found myself experiencing the "tears" this afternoon as I made a decision for Ardyn.
I am putting my beautiful 6 year old daughter into therapy.
Oh my God, I can't believe that I actually said (wrote) that.
It doesn't matter that I spoke it over with Cal, and that it was a joint decision, and it doesn't matter that it is beyond my control, and at all not my fault........but I am her mummy, and I feel like that I should have been able to do something to help her before it came to this.
Ardyn has an extreme phobia of animals, especially dogs. It has gotten to the point that she won't even go to a friend's place to play if she knows that they have pets, and if we pass a dog on the street (even on a leash) she FREAKS.
Today was National Walk Safely to School Day, so I drove Bailey to preschool, and then walked Ardyn to school from there. We were walking down the street and in the far distance we could see a lady walking her dog towards us. Ardyn went hyper. I tried to calm her down and talk her through it, holding her hand and talking calmly and rationally, but she literally was running around in circles not knowing where to go to get away from this cute little puppy that was still about 30 metres away. The running was so wild that she nearly ran out onto the road. Not a very safe act during Walk Safely to School Day.
As the dog and owner got closer, and they saw Ardyn's distress, the owner did what most do when they see her shying away. They stop and tell her that it's alright and that 'she won't hurt you' whilst moving closer. I didn't have the patience to explain today and just said, "She's terrified of dogs. Keep walking." I was brash, and I apologise publicly to the lady here, but I have no idea who she is. Sorry lady with dog.
The worst part of all of it, is that Bailey is learning this behaviour. I have seen her go up to dogs with a smile and pat them, but as soon as she's around Ardyn she says "We don't like dogs, do we Ardyn?" and won't go near them. Minor problems are that we can't get a pet as she's terrified that it might (God forbid) lick or sniff her. And the one that breaks my heart is not wanting to go to new friends' houses if they have a pet.
I have no idea where this has all come from, but it's a real fear, and not one that she will grow out of any time soon. So we have sought help from a specialist anxiety clinic that has therapy programs tailored to children and their fears and anxieties. We are waiting for an opening, but I think that it's a positive thing to get this addressed before she gets too old.
So my mummy guilt is running through my veins like an unstoppable torrent. And although my logic knows that this isn't really that big a deal, I feel like as her mummy I should have been able to do something more for my baby girl.
I hate mummy guilt.