I have spoken a few times before about the guilt of parenthood, be it regarding Betty, Archie or Sunshine I have felt guilt when it comes to all my children. I feel guilt for Betty’s death, I have not spoken much about this – I feel it was my fault. I know it wasn’t but I feel that and there’s no shying away from it. Last summer I felt guilty for not being able to run around after Archie playing with him like I wanted, having the energy I required to entertain a lively 4 year old. But, I got through the summer telling myself that the summer of 2016 would be the best one yet, with our big boy and baby girl, a no doubt lively 9 month old and doting 5 year old and we would do all the things the 3 of us that mummy had been unable to muster up the energy to do last year.
To no avail – I am in fact 6 and a half months pregnant again with no energy once again feeling the guilt of the summer before, preparing for a holiday that would of been our first as a family of 4. I feel such mixed emotions – I am so grateful to be able to be at home with my son, spend the summer with him, take him out, entertain him as best I can (although to be honest he’s very good at entertaining himself) I am thankful we are able to have a holiday, but it feels somewhat tainted with a story that never quite happened. It’s tricky.
I have a suitcase full of gorgeous swimming costumes and summer dresses all bought with this summer in mind because the last thing I thought was going to happen was Betty would be dead. Never in a million years did I think it wasn’t ok to dream of this summer with her in it – now that’s all I do, dream. In fact I don’t. I find it odd I don’t dream about her – EVER. Sometimes I wish I would so I could see her, speak to her, but it never happens. Maybe it will, maybe she wasn’t here long enough to escape into that part of my brain, to be honest I rarely dream about Archie and I know him! Odd.
Anyway the summer. It’s so hard when human nature allows us to plan our lives in our heads, to then have to stop yourself doing it isn’t easy – poor Sunshine, (more guilt) I have to stop myself thinking of what life will be like with them here, I don’t want to get too excited only to be disappointed at the end of it. I think this is normal. I think most of us would react in the same way if faced with a similar situation, but I then feel guilty for almost putting them to the back of my mind even tho they are very much there – I am of course reminded of that everyday. So really I think no matter what way you look at it as a parent you will feel guilt on all levels regardless, this is only natural. But I suppose you just have to do your best and that is all you can do!
Last week Archie had a week with his Nanny and Grandad – it was a co-incidence that I was ill so actually ended up being timed perfectly, but all week I felt a little bit guilty that I was missing seeing him and doing things with him for the first week of his summer hols. But at the same time had he been here I would of felt guilty because not only could I not talk for the best part of the week but I would have been of no use to him whatsoever. Thus proving either way I would have felt the guilt!
He has started a summer holiday journal! Tonight we caught up with the weekend as he didn’t write in it then – Saturday’s entry was about him coming home on the ferry (they live on the Isle of Wight) after he’s done a few sentences he draws a picture! His picture was him on the ferry with the 3 of us above and next to it he had written ‘hape’ (happy) and he said I wrote happy mummy because when I’m with you, you always make me feel happy. It got me thinking that he probably doesn’t actually care that I can’t run after him (anyone who knows me knows actually I’m not a runner at the best of times so I don’t think pregnancy would make much of a difference on this front) but he feels happy at home with me, and that was the best thing I could of heard today because for that one spilt second I didn’t feel guilt I too felt ‘happy’ something I am learning to feel more and more each time I think of his siblings rather than all that surrounds their existence. Because after all if we don’t have happiness what is there?