Guilt and parenthood. The perfect pair.
When it comes to missing our kids’ performances, it can feel devastating, no doubt. But experts say we need to learn to let go of the guilt.
There may be a bright side to not always being there.
Jessica Lee is a busy nurse and single mom to four children who are active in everything from music to football. Like all parents she struggles to juggle their performances and games with everything else life demands.
“I work. I work long hours and I can't be there for every game. I feel terrible when I miss something. You know, it hurts.”
Experts argue today’s parents are pulled in so many directions that guilt can be through the roof.
“If they work, they feel extra guilty…if they're not spending time individually with each of their kids. Um, you know, parents feel guilty about so many more things,” said Ali Katz, a mindful parenting coach
One recent survey found half of working dads and 56-percent of working moms find it hard to balance all their responsibilities. But Katz says you can actually use the guilt as a teaching moment for your kids.
“Feelings of disappointment or frustration are temporary. They don't last forever. We all have uncomfortable feelings. We have to learn how to maneuver them, deal with them, and then they pass and we're on to something that feels better.”
Katz said you can also work with your kids and your tribe to come up with creative solutions when you can’t be at an event in person.
“A partner, a family member, a friend can Facetime you in, can text you updates of scores, can take pictures for you.”
You can relive the experience with the kids later. The key is to show your children your relationship is about more than one performance.
“I'm there for every performance, every game that I can be there for, and they know that and that’s what’s important,” said mom, Jessica Lee.
Katz says social media has a lot to do with some of the guilt that people feel. She says there's a lot more comparison, thanks to carefully curated lives in post after post.
She reminds us people only tend to post the positive and that, generally, most parents are dealing with the same issues of stress and guilt.