Something that you only really understand when you become a mother isn’t it.
It is a crazy but real feeling that is all consuming and can become truely debilitating if not managed properly.
We all want to be good mothers.
We all hope to raise good children.
We all really don’t want to screw this up and have our children talking to therapists in their adult years about how their upbringing has caused bad foundations in their lives.
But we are not perfect and we are going to make the wrong decision sometimes, prioritise the wrong things, say the wrong things….. it is called being human.
It is easier to say that to someone else though isn’t it, not so easy to give yourself the grace you need to move on.
Mummy guilt is real and it is hard, it can feel like it is always chasing us down…
Guilty because you didn’t take your vitamins well when pregnant- have you stunted your baby for life?,
Guilty that perhaps you weren’t as happy about the ‘surprise’ arrival of a baby in your belly.
Guilty perhaps that you are pregnant and your dear friend is yet to find that joy for herself.
Guilty about losing a precious pregnancy and beating yourself up for feeling you’re the cause.
Guilty about the nature of your birth. Having drugs you didn’t think you would need. Having intervention you didn’t think you would agree to. Yelling at everyone in the room including your husband, and any person that walked in really.
Guilty that you poo’d and the midwife had to clean it up.
Guilty perhaps that you had a wonderful birth experience and your friend didn’t.
Guilty that you didn’t feel an immediate bond with your baby like they do in the movies.
Guilty that you struggled to breastfeed your baby and gave formula when you didn’t think you would.
Guilty that you persisted with breastfeeding when it wasn’t what was working for your family.
Guilty that ABC for kids has been on all day and you are beginning to know the sequence in which the cartoons run as well as all the songs.
Guilty that you are feeling overwhelmed by managing your kids instead of enjoying them.
Guilty that you are drinking far too much coffee now and cannot survive without it.
Guilty that you have a messy house because you have spent all day with the kids.
Guilty that you spent the whole day cleaning the house and neglected the kids.
Guilty that your kids are eating snacks and processed food because you havnt had time to cook or even shop.
Guilty that you are spending so much money on organic food and so much time in the kitchen cooking everything yourself.
Guilty that you took the kids out to do something you wanted to do.
Guilty that you are at home resenting not being able to do what you want to do.
Guilty that you are taking time out for yourself and leaving them at home.
Guilty that you aren’t spending enough time with other people in your life.
Guilty that you aren’t shifting that baby weight you said you would never allow to stay.
Guilty that you are taking time away from your kids to exercise
Guilty that you are struggling to accept the changes in your body that bearing those beautiful children can lead to.
Guilty that you are spending so much time looking at social networking instead of engaging with your kids.
Guilty that you feel resentful of feeling so isolated from what is happening outside your kids.
Guilty that you are back at work and not at home with your kids.
Guilty that you are at home with your kids and not contributing financially to the household.
Guilty that you get to the end of the day and have no headspace or energy left for your partner.
Guilty that they have worked all day and come home to a messy house.
Guilty that you neglect your partner of an evening to finish getting through your checklist now that the kids are asleep.
Guilty that even though you chose to abandon the list and spend time with your partner, all you can think about is what is left on that list.
Guilty that you watch too much television.
Guilty that you wish you had time to watch television.
Guilty that you cant afford to enroll your kids into as many extra curricular activities as their friends.
Guilty that they are so busy with extra curricular activities you don’t get the time with them you should probably have.
Guilty that you couldn’t pay for private school.
Guilty that all your money goes into private school and you cant afford other things like a holiday.
Guilty that you cannot imagine yourself without your kids and are clinging to them perhaps a bit too much.
Guilty that you are already envisioning life when they are grown up and you can achieve some other things with your life.
Guilty Guilty Guilty…. No matter what you choose, how you parent, there is always an opposing view that could be equally right.
How do you know you are doing the right thing?
I certainly don’t profess to know.
Is their room enough on the parenting spectrum for all these decisions and values to be right?
Mummy Guilt I do think… is really the result of Caring, placing the role of Mother in high esteem. Wanting to be a great mother isn’t wrong, but it’s the impossible goal sometimes. So if you feel guilty remind yourself- it is because I care! Maybe we would do a lot to help eachother if we reminded eachother of that.
Be kind to ourselves, look after ourselves knowing that a strong healthy happy mother is the best thing for our kids.
A strong healthy family dynamic is a strength to our kids. Its not selfish to want that.
Say sorry to our kids when we do wrong both at the time and in retrospect should we see our mistakes.
Chances are you doing a far better job than you realise. I am very sure that is true.