Mum guilt is a real thing. Many of us mothers feel that overwhelming sense of guilt and if you are one of the lucky ones who don’t, then you have probably learnt to become so confident and happy with your decision making that you don’t let the guilt affect you so much, hats off to you mothers.
Mum guilt can rear its ugly head in all shapes and forms:
• Breast feeding your baby whilst your partner or family member are cooking or cleaning around you
• Napping with your baby whilst There’s a hundred jobs to do in the house
• Going back to work after maternity leave
• Leaving you baby for the first time overnight
• Seeing your baby cry at nursery at drop off time
I have experienced all these forms of mum guilt throughout my motherhood journey so far and its not a pleasant feeling. In fact it’s a very emotional and depressing feeling, as many of you mums can probably relate to? But mums, I’ve soon come to realise that it’s us and nobody else, who put that pressure and that guilt on ourselves. So mums, if it’s us that puts that guilt and pressure onto ourselves, then surely it’s us who can just as easily shift that guilty feeling too.
HOW DO WE SHIFT THE MUM GUILT?
There are some ways to shift the mum guilt and they all start with us, how we can adapt to different scenarios, change our attitude about things and shift our mind-set into a more positive one. We can try at least, can’t we mums?
• During breastfeeding or napping with your baby, instead of thinking that you’re not helping or you’re letting the house go to ruins, change your way of thinking. You are helping your family. By feeding, comforting and supporting your baby with so much goodness and nutrition, you are contributing to your growing family.
• During those times when you nap at the same time as your baby, don’t ever feel guilty or bad about it. You are showing nothing but care, affection and love to your baby and in turn you are aiding your body to rest, relax and heal. After all mums, you and your baby’s health and wellbeing are so much more important than any housework or chores.
• Unless you are a mum who can’t wait to get back into the flow of work and own a little bit of independence once again, going back to work can make many mums feel so guilty. Guilty about leaving your baby and missing valuable time with them. For those mums who do feel that guilt, try to reframe your thinking and concentrate on your time at work as serving a purpose. A purpose to earn money for your family, to pay bills, to treat your family (or even yourself)
• Leaving your baby for the first time overnight can be quite daunting and sad. But mums, think of the reason why you’re leaving your baby. Is it to go out with your partner? Is it to go out with your friends? mums, please don’t feel guilty for that. You need your time with your partner and your friends more than ever. It’s important, well deserved and well earned. I remember the first time my husband and I left our baby overnight, it was the evening of our best friend’s wedding. And you know what? I had the best night dancing with my friends and I had the best sleep after five months.
• Seeing your baby cry at the nursery drop off can be heart wrenching. The nursery conversation is a controversial one and I will the leave the controversy for another blog. But from my experience, the tears do stop, the smiles do increase and your baby’s brain development, social skills, empathy and knowledge all increase. So mums in this case, surely all the positives outweigh the negatives.
Present parenting to help diffuse the mum guilt
Mums, I hope this helps you to slowly change your mindset. Of course nothing is better for your baby than a mother’s love, your love and your time. But let’s stop putting that mum guilt onto ourselves. As long as you are completely present with your baby and you’re content with your parenting then you may find the guilt diffuses slightly.
When I was listening to a **motherkind** podcast with Marianne Williamson it made me think about my mum guilt. It was a controversial podcast but she gave some good advice:
‘’make sure you spend at least one hour a day, just you and your baby’’
I am now fully conscious and aware of my time with my daughter. On the days before I go to work and she goes to nursery or grandma’s house, I make sure I have a whole hour with her. This is quality time to play, read, sing, colour, dance, whatever her little heart desires. I am one hundred percent present and value that time so much with her. The nursery drop off is a much happier one and the mum guilt is no longer.