We all hear about “mommy guilt” all the time, and how we aren’t supposed to live with regrets; we’re all doing the best we can and need to let the small stuff go. Undoubtedly, guilt is something we all still struggle with from time to time, and I’ve recently realized its not the big moments I’m regretting… it’s the little ones.
The other day we were at the park as a family; my husband had taken the day off work and the weather was finally nice. We sat to the side with our baby while our toddler played happily in the sandbox. I had just given her a 5-minute warning when a boy smaller than her walked up and took her shovel. She started to shriek “Hey! That’s mine!!!” and go after him; the boy’s mother didn’t intervene, so I scooped up my daughter and said “it’s ok, it’s time to go anyway”. Of course, this resulted in a total meltdown and full-on tears. I was frustrated, tired, and ready to go; my toddler was just frustrated.
It wasn’t until the next day that my regrets began to creep in. I was wrong. I had failed my daughter. The little boy shouldn’t have taken what she was happily playing with, and since he was too young to understand and his mom didn’t correct him, it was up to me to go to bat for my daughter…there was a lesson in sharing, waiting your turn, and finding an alternative solution just waiting to be taught. This seemingly unimportant moment has haunted me for a week now. She was happy, not bothering anyone, and had a few more minutes to continue on this way before we were going to leave. My actions – or inactions – brought my little girl to tears, when quite frankly, she wasn’t wrong, unreasonable, or out of line… not in the slightest.
Obviously, my daughter has forgotten this incident. She forgot it within minutes. But I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I realized what I had done. I let her down.; it is these tiny moments that I continually feel guilty about and regret, and I’m not sure how to just let it go.