Let’s talk Mummy Guilt- I haven’t met a mum yet, who hasn’t experienced it.
You know what I’m talking about – that heart-sinking feeling that you aren’t doing something right/aren’t finishing something/haven’t got it ‘all together’.
Having spoken to hundreds of mums over the years, the most common issues that arise are guilt and lack of balance. Women are often expected to be the carers who put the needs of others first. Countless studies have verified this.
For some women, nurturing others is instinctive and enjoyable. For others, it comes out of necessity – having children or sick parents for example.
Regardless of why we do it, we often become so accustomed to it that we lose vital parts of ourselves.
According to Google (what doesn’t Google know?):
“The fact of having committed a specified or implied offense or crime”
Okay, so the noun isn’t necessarily the most relevant option in this case, but you see the point I’m making? Why do we feel as though we are committing a crime if we want some lifestyle change or time to ourselves? Only YOU can remove your guilt. Ultimately, we choose our own emotions and reactions to situations. No one else can make us feel guilty so no one else can take that away.
You may think your partner makes you feel guilty about wanting to go salsa dancing one night a week. You have a feeling of guilt. They might list reasons why it is inconvenient (for them), but they are not making you feel guilty. You are choosing to. The beauty of this is, just as you choose to feel guilty, you can choose not to! Let anxiety, guilt and blame go and watch your life expand.
Here are some of the most common things mums say they struggle with:
- Not spending enough time with children
- Difficulty finding balance with work and home life
- Concern about what the children are (or aren’t) eating
- Pressure to return to work
- Pressure surrounding breast-feeding
- Concern about too much time in day care
- Concern about not enough time socialising
- Kids education
- Losing career momentum
- Children’s behaviour at day care/school
- Maintaining patience with children
- Not knowing how to find balance
- Feeling like part of yourself is lost
- Resentment of partner
- Frustration with those mums who look like they have it ‘all together’
- Financial stress
This is just a snippet of examples!
The endless guilt can stem from internal dialogue or external factors and can be exhausting. SO, how’s that working out for you?
A great place to begin addressing this is to make a list of your passions. How can you achieve these goals? Are there people in your life who can help? Do you need to do some research? Do you need to enroll in college? Use any resources available to you.
Talk about your goals with people who are supportive (whether that be family, friends or other mums’). As simple or as complex as they might be, chase your goals until they are your reality.