Feeling guilty seems to go hand-in-hand with being a mother. I am against feeling guilty (what a useless emotion, either improve or get over it!); however, I frequently feel guilty about little R anyway. Here are five mini parenting fails:
--not putting sunscreen on her. We live in Singapore (=the tropics) and she has two pale Northern European-descended parents, so she really should wear it every day. But I hate putting it on (me or her), so I only do it if we are going hiking. I feel guilty about raising her risk of skin cancer though.
--not clipping her fingernails. She hates having her nails clipped (she fights like I'm trying to put her in a strait jacket). I also am afraid of accidentally clipping off part of her finger. For these reasons, I avoid clipping them. They get longer and longer, and I think, "I really need to cut them. I'll do it tomorrow for sure!" But I don't. She's needed a clipping for at least two weeks but I keep procrastinating. She is going to end up like that man in India.
--letting her lick her shoes. She loves playing with the velcro tabs on her shoes (chewing on them), which I guess is OK because they don't touch the ground. However, sometimes she will also start tasting other parts of the shoes (like the soles!) and I don't stop her out of laziness. She is probably getting all kinds of diseases. (I worry this is what caused the latest one, although I know that's irrational.)
--letting her eat food off the ground. Being a baby, she is a messy eater and food from her meals frequently ends up under the high chair. Once she's done eating, she likes to go for seconds on this new supply, and I let her (even if it's been sitting there a while because I felt too lazy to clean it up). I don't actually think this is dangerous, but it does teach her bad habits (like eating food OFF THE FLOOR is a good idea). Bad mother.
--letting her play with bottles of lotion/hand sanitizer/etc. B has actually told me several times that I shouldn't do this, because little R is sneaky and can get child-proof caps off now. I agreed with him, but continue to let her play with them when she's getting her diapers changed (as a distracting technique). Yesterday she was playing with a hand sanitizer bottle, and when I briefly wasn't looking, got the cap off and tried to guzzle down the contents! Luckily I prevented her just in time (good, because it would have been really embarrassing to take her to the ER to get her stomach pumped, admitting to all I am a careless mother).
Really I need to improve in these areas, but somehow I lack the necessary willpower/impetus. Maybe listing them here will help? (Probably not.)