As soon as I became a mum, I was completely and utterly bogged down by this horrible sense of guilt. This parenting guilt that everyone seemed to know about but me. 

 

But the frightening thing was that It wasn't just solely directed at one aspect of parenting – it hit from every single angle and was difficult to shake off.

 

I felt guilty for not being more financially secure, guilty for only having one child, guilty for not going to work, guilty for going to work, guilty for not being a good cook, guilty for not wanting to play... the list is endless.

 

 

And yes, this guilt does manifest itself into toys, clothes, shoes - whatever I can afford at that moment in time. 

 

Former Westlife singer, Brian McFadden recently made the admission that after his move to Australia he tried to buy his two daughters Molly and Lily-Sue’s affections with lavish gifts, something he now says he regrets as it was getting his kids into a bad habit.

 

But Brian is not alone in this, is he?

 

My budget doesn't stretch to iPads or mobile phones for children (and, to be fair, I don't think I'd be buying them for an eight-year-old child anyway), but she certainly doesn't go without. 

 

 

She gets lovely things fairly frequently, be it a book or a new T-shirt, but no matter how many times I may tell myself that she needs these items they are still treats. 

 

Yes, at times I do bow to some of her demands - life is hard enough as it is - but I only have one. It would be a totally different story if I had two or even three.

 

The truth is most of us spoil our kids in some way, but it's not wrong and we should not be ashamed of it. 

 

Everyone's situation is different; what one parent might consider a lavish gift might be viewed by another as something practical.

 

Exactly the way Brian's situation is so different.

 

 

However, while he admits he spoiled Molly and Lily-Sue because he felt guilty for living so far away, the spoiling was not the issue.

 

To say his need to keep them happy with lavish gifts made them yearn for more may be skirting over the truth that they, in fact, actually just missed their dad.

 

Mary Byrne is Deputy Editor at MummyPages and is mum to her eight-year-old daughter, Aoibhe. You can follow her on Twitter @marybyrne321.

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