For when you feel like a rubbish parent

Sometimes some of us feel like we’re not enough for our children.

Not there enough, not doing enough, not buying enough etc. the guilt list for parents can be endless.

When I was my daughter’s current age (9 years old), we were homeless.

I remember waking up on my birthday in one of the hostels we were living in.


I’ve got vivid memories of waking up excited. I didn’t have any presents, but I knew I’d be sharing breakfast with all the other ‘residents’.

I remember an old man in a wheelchair who had lost both his legs. He used to tell us stories at mealtimes, and on my birthday morning he shouted happy birthday as I entered the room, the whole room then erupted into a chorus of happy birthday. He gave me a pound coin and I felt so happy and loved.

I remember going to school feeling happy as my Mum had promised me a cake that evening. It was a romantica (anyone remember them?). Such a treat for us when we sometimes ate very little.

Kindness from strangers

As we moved from hostel, to B&B we often relied on the kindness of strangers and friends. The local vicar feeding and allowing us to bathe on Sundays is something I’ll always remember.

Even though we didn’t have many possessions, anywhere to live, or much food to eat, I can never remember feeling like we didn’t have enough. I don’t ever remember feeling like my mum wasn’t enough.

Even looking back now, I remember it feeling like an adventure. I really loved some of those hostels and the people we met.

Parent guilt – it gets us all

Fast forward 25 years and I’m now a parent. I feel guilty and beat myself up if I don’t cook the ‘right’ food sometimes, if I work too much, or if I don’t plan the good days out.

We all do it.

Well, enough is enough.

We are enough, just by being there and loving our children. I remember that feeling.

I had nothing that cost money, but everything that was free. Love, laughter, support, conversation and adventure. It’s important we talk to our children about this too.

Happiness doesn’t come from the items we own. Remember that always.

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