One of the greatest pieces of advice my mother gave me regarding my own children is to not try so hard to be the perfect parent, as they will inevitably grow up to blame me for something. Case in point, I told my mom she should have kept working so that our family could take more vacations. I also cursed her out and told her my dad should have never married her.
Wow, I must have been an awful child. The thing is, I wasn't. I was an excellent student, behaved well in most settings and was generally considered a "good" kid. I was raised right and still managed to unload verbal diarrhea on the woman who put her career on hold to take care of three children.
In the early days of motherhood, I questioned every decision I made, worried the wrong one would ruin my child for life. Was I nursing him too much or not enough? Was it okay to let him cry? Should I try to get him to sleep on his own? All that worrying was emotionally exhausting and was keeping me from enjoying the beautiful moments.
When my mom told me that no matter what I did, my kids would resent me for something, I finally had permission to let myself screw up. I know that everything I do for my child is out of love and helping to raise a solid citizen. But, I also know I will make mistakes, and that's okay. My mom always says she hopes her children will be better parents than she was, and I wish the same for my kids.
Next time you feel a twinge of guilt for giving your child a non-organic snack or for keeping the TV on a bit longer, remember it's okay to be imperfect. Your child will let you know soon enough.