Has anyone else met the SGF? AKA the Sh*tty Guilt Fairy. I once saw a cartoon about her and it made me laugh; but I couldn’t quite connect with her as I’d not had children at that point. We didn’t really know each other; I mean I’d heard of her but we’d not crossed each other’s paths in a significant way until 31st January 2016. A coincidence? I think not. The 31st of January was the day my son, Phoenix, was born. And since then the SGF has become an almost daily feature in my life. She won’t bl**dy go away.
So who is the SGF? She is a little voice in your head who questions everything you do as a mother. She makes you feel as though nothing you ever do is good enough. Sometimes she’s as loud as being in a nightclub and other times her babble reduces; like she’s in the Bahamas sunning herself but sends you a postcard just to remind you that she’s still around.
I think she predominantly visits first time Mums who struggle with things like breastfeeding and PND (post natal depression). I certainly spent a lot of time with her during the first 12 months of my son’s life. And it was EXHAUSTING.
I thought I had got to grips with her and that we’d reached a fair understanding. I thought I’d got to the point where if I didn’t think about her she would not bother me. A kind of truce.
But that’s the problem with the SGF. She is a sneaky little mother BEEP. Excuse my French. I really thought I’d got to grips with her; until today.
It has been a pretty full on Year for me so far with my father experiencing a horrible health scare and my son contracting hand foot and mouth disease, conjunctivitis, teething and a nasty cold. On top of that I’ve started studying again and taken on a new interior design project and spending time on this blog (let’s be clear – I’m not complaining – I’m that person who can’t sit still and always has to be busy) but by the end of January after almost a month of chaos I felt exhausted; emotionally exhausted mainly. I was ready for my son to go back to nursery and to take some time to breathe. Queue the SGF.
The first time I took my son back after two weeks off he clung to me and didn’t want to leave. This is the first time this has happened and I felt terrible. I figured that after having been at home with me for such an extended period he had got used to being around me full time again. I was also told that by the time they are one children really understand who Mama is and start with serious separation anxiety. As I left nursery that morning all I could hear was the SGF singing a ballad as loud as humanly possible in my ear. The lyrics went something along the lines of how could you leave your son in nursery. Damn this beeping fairy.
Fast forward ten days. It’s been a long weekend without respite. I love my son but let’s be clear – being responsible for a little human being 24/7 is tough on even the strongest of personalities. I don’t enjoy leaving my son at nursery but I take him there for a few reasons; 1) I think it’s good for him to socialise with other children and encourage development. He is currently without siblings. 2) it gives me time to have a shower and actually eat a meal properly. I also get to do a little work and study. I’m still a person. Having children doesn’t mean that all you are is a mother.
Anyway let’s fast forward to this morning. I was leaving Phoenix at nursery and just as I was about to leave he bumped his head on a table. He started screaming so I instinctively ran back towards his. By the time I’d got to him one of the nursery ladies had picked him up already. Queue SGF: “why didn’t you get there quicker?” On seeing me my son began wailing even more. Now, the rational side of my brain tells me he is upset but kids are kids and they tend to play up more to their mothers than anyone else. The irrational side of my brain where the SGF spends most of her days then really digs her feet in deep and all I can here are things like “if you hadn’t bought him to nursery none of this would even be happening right now. How selfish are you!?”. Thanks, SGF. Anyway fast forward five minutes and I’ve managed to calm my son down. We are playing with toys, he’s found a spoon he won’t let go of and is as happy as Larry again. So I sneak out and the teaching assistant assures me he is absolutely fine.
So why am I writing this? I’m writing this because then in the middle of spin class (something I do every Monday morning to burn off the weekend and hit the refresh button) the SGF descends with a small little marching band behind her. She is singing at the top of her voice about what happened at nursery and asking me to question myself as a mother and how could I leave my son there. It gets so bad I use the messenger app for the nursery to check in on Phoenix. Of course, he is a happy little bunny and I end up feeling like a twit. I’m convinced his nursery teachers think that I’m definitely one of those over protective mothers who are completely irrational and over the top about their children. And I probably am to an extent; though it does come from a place of love.
Getting back to why I’m writing this post. I’m writing it because for two hours this morning I ended up feeling the most intense feeling of guilt due to the SGF. As my husband says “guilt is a wasted emotion. You cannot do anything with it and it only serves a negative purpose”. And as I left my spin class I was like, you know what – I’ve had enough. Time to get real with the SGF and tell her to take a long walk off of a very short pier. I’m writing this as I do the absolute best that I can for my son and that I shouldn’t feel any guilt for taking time out. I also need time to do my own thing even for a couple of hours. I’m writing this because if you’re a mother and reading this then I’m sure you have also been visited by this little fairy. Maybe you’ve got to grips with her better than I have already or maybe she’s really p*ssing you off at the moment. I wanted to share this because I feel that being a mummy means you are on call 24/7. There are no breaks and you always have to be ready for your kids. So take some time out; pop your child into créche for an hour and have a cup of coffee. As moms we should be supportive of one another and make a stand against the SGF. She is a pain in the backside. The next time I feel guilty I’m going to revert back to this blog post to make myself feel better and I hope that you might too. Know that you’re not alone and that being a Mama is difficult. It’s OK to feel these emotions but it’s more important to believe in yourself and be proud of the love and care and all of the good things that you do for your babies.
Have a fab day