How I deal with mummy guilt
- by Petra Jelinkova
Mummy guilt doesn’t discriminate. Mummy guilt can strike if you are CEO with 500 employees or CEO of your own home. It can find you whether your house overlooks the Harbour Bridge or a highway. It can appear at the break of day being woken up by that first baby cry, or in the evening when everything seems too quiet. It can last for a minute or drag on and on and on. So it’s no surprise that most mums will feel guilty about something to do with their children from time to time.
What makes us feel mummy guilt?
One of the main mummy guilt provokers for me is raising my voice. I tend to hear myself yell probably more than I should. And after I have yelled at my toddlers I feel really guilty about it. It happened again this morning. I was putting my smallest down for her nap and just as I did, my eldest bounces into the bedroom demanding I read him his favourite story. Ahhh. I should count to five before I react, but sometimes these things just catch you out. Yelling surely is part of motherhood, but with my counting technique I am working on it, but I also know that sometimes loud decibels will creep through the cracks and that’s okay.
- Time for ourselves
Nearly all my close friends have children and we are so good at telling each other to look after ourselves – take some time out – ‘let’s plan a weekend away/ go out for dinner/ do an exercise class/ ….’. That’s just it, hardly any of us take our own advice. Why? The mummy guilt starts talking…. ‘you should be with your kids all the time, they need you, they’re still so small, no one can take care of them as well as you can’. The truth probably is everything will be okay if you take some time for yourself to recharge. More so, you should allow yourself this time, without any guilt. Chances are everyone will benefit from mum looking after herself.
- Going to work
Short, sharp pangs of guilt find me when I’m working. Especially if one of my toddlers was a bit under the weather when I dropped them off at daycare or if I’m secretly enjoying working and being able to finish my coffee while it’s still warm. I have learnt with this one, and as harsh as it may sound, that I have to accept it and move on. Rationally I remind myself that my children are in excellent care with trained professionals or family who attend dotingly to their needs. Everything is okay.
- Mummy can’t play anymore
I remind myself that my toddlers don’t need me to play with them every minute of the day. So when I can play with them I try to be right there in the moment, rather than in my mind ticking off my to-do list, even if it’s only for a short time. This helps to relieve the guilt when I tell them I can’t play, knowing that I have spent quality time with them and we have all enjoyed it. After all, they still need to be fed, groomed and the house still needs to be kept to some degree of tidy.
There are also a range of other articles which might interest you on mummy guilt.
This post was brought to you and your baby with love by Julia and the Itchy Baby Co team. X