When your kid goes to bed crying

Last night my 4 year old went to bed crying... really sobbing. His sister (my 2 year old) wanted to read his school book as a bedtime story. He didn’t want her to. So he snatched it off her and she snatched it back time and time again, the screaming from both sides. I was pretty tired so commanded for them to be quiet, stop fighting and get into bed immediately. Especially Buddy – he should know better, he should learn to share, she's only a baby. No one was getting a story now!

But Buddy couldn’t calm himself down. So I got into bed, put my arms around him and let him cry it out with love. I asked him why he was so upset. He told me how he felt, in a much more grown-up way that I was expecting! He told me that he never gets anything to himself; that his school stuff is special and he doesn’t want her to have it or rip it; that he’s told me before but I keep forgetting; that every time I walk out the door she does something naughty and he gets in trouble for it but I don’t listen when he tells me what happened.

Holy shit – how did I not see this before! This kid just wants the same as me. Some SPACE for himself… and to be HEARD, to be UNDERSTOOD, to ask for help and RECEIVE IT.

Normally I would have given myself massive mum guilt at this point (I should never have had a second child… I’m a shit mum…I’m psychologically damaging him with my parenting style etc etc)

But I’ve done a lot of work on how to ditch the mum guilt and approve of myself as a human. I’m not perfect and I don’t need to hold myself up to that unattainable standard. 

I apologised to Buddy for not recognising his feelings and said I’d try better tomorrow. He calmed down.

And just because I didn’t feel mum guilt it doesn’t mean that my heart didn’t ache for him. You see, another pattern that I observe playing out in the mums that I support is that they can FEEL GUILTY FOR NOT FEELING GUILTY. Yes… there are more levels to it, and releasing it is more difficult than you think!

Have you ever used positive affirmations before? I teach expectant mothers about them in my hypnobirthing classes and also use them in my own morning meditations. Here are a few of mine you can use if you get an attack of mum guilt… IT’S EASY… just sit quietly, take a deep breath and say (aloud or in your head)

• I welcome the opportunity to learn more about myself and my family every day
• I approve of myself
• I release all anger and blame
• I forgive myself
• The past is over, today I can be whoever I choose

And if you need more help, I’m going to be digging much deeper into the subject of mum guilt in my 3 week online coaching programme starting Monday (with expert speakers and a full set of hypnotherapy MP3’s)!



Dawn Jackson

I'm Dawn Jackson, Editor of Rehab for Mums Magazine and Holistic Therapist based in Thelwall, South Warrington. My mission is to bring together women to support other women to feel their best in body AND mind.