One of the things that I think all mums can relate to is suffering from regular bouts of “Mum Guilt”. I’ve noticed this is a recurring theme amongst my guest bloggers for my Interview With A Working Mum series when I ask what they find hardest about being a working mum.
I’ve no idea are we all feeling so guilty for going to work and putting our kids in childcare? For going to work to make money to buy things for our kids and help put a roof over their heads. I bet Dads don’t feel guilty for going to work and providing for the family.
I’m sure it’s no different if you’re a stay at home mum, then you probably feel guilty for not going to work. For staying at home and looking after your own kids all day and not making money.
Basically, you just can’t win when you’re a mum!
I’ve written before about why we should let go of the mum guilt and I know it’s easier said than done, but actually when you stop and think about it most of the things we worry about are not at all important. Most of the guilt us mums feel is self-imposed, and no one else would judge you as a bad mother if you told them about it.
I think like many things, when you hear someone else say it out loud you realise how ridiculous it sounds. If you heard another mum say they felt guilty for letting their child use their tablet for over an hour you’d probably think “good on you” for managing to get over an hours’ peace, so why do you feel so guilty when you do it? You wouldn’t judge another mum for taking the kids to McDonald’s when she was too tired to cook after a hectic day at work so why do you worry that you’ve damaged your kids for life after one Happy Meal?
To try and show how much of this mum guilt is all in our heads and totally unnecessary, I asked some fellow mums to tell me the most ridiculous child-related things they’ve felt guilty for…
Angela, The Life of Spicers – “When you go out for the day and walk through the gift shop to cries of “can I have” but you look and it’s all overpriced tat so you say No”
Beth, Twinderelmo – “I felt guilty that I spent too much time with my daughters and they would be sick of me!”
Katie, Mummy in a Tutu – “That I bought her new clothes she needed so she’d end up spoilt”
Kate, Five Little Stars – “I have mum guilt that my kids have too much stuff, such that they don’t properly know the value of it”
Rebecca, The Coastal Mummy – “That I don’t spend enough time with her doing arts and crafty type things. I’m just not that type of person and I wouldn’t even know where to begin”
Emma, The Money Whisperer – “Definite mummy guilt that they may get square eyes from the hours and hours of early morning iPad time while I zzzzz. No one should be awake when there is a 5 in the time…”
Hollie, Thrifty Mum – “I just fed my toddlers tea to the dog because he’d royally kicked off saying he didn’t want anymore. Then he changed his mind after the dog wolfed it all down. I feel so guilty for not waiting for him to change his mind. Should have known better!”
Tina, Mother Geek – “Having to take my son to & from his SEN school 11 miles away means I don’t get to do my daughter’s school run, so don’t know the other mums or get to arrange play dates etc for my daughter”
Sophie, Sophie and Lily – “Having just told school that I’ll be there to collect my ill child in 30 mins as I’m on foot somewhere else and her dad is overseas – “But she is crying!” the receptionist kept telling me. Dear Lord, I’m not Usain Bolt, I’m on my way! That made me feel awful.”
Elizabeth, Tots and Tantrums – “When I was pregnant with Henry, my parents took George to Blackpool but forgot his coat. I couldn’t get in touch with them to let them know, ended up crying hysterically feeling so guilty that I was a rubbish mum and he didn’t have a coat. My mum just bought him a new coat. No harm done and he didn’t freeze to death!”
Lauren, Sophie’s Nursery – “Giving my daughter cereal for dinner. I’m pregnant, too tired to always cook, she enjoyed it, went to bed on a full stomach. Me? Feeling stupidly bad about it.”
See, you’re not alone! These are the kind of silly things all mums are worrying about.
Rather than lying awake in the middle of the night and stressing over the things you feel mum guilt for (and let’s face it, we definitely need to be sleeping not lying awake overthinking!) try some of these ideas…
- Talk to other mums. Whether it’s friends or other mums online, tell them the things you’re feeling mum guilt over and I bet they’ll tell you worries that are even more pointless.
- Stop comparing yourself to other mums whether online or IRL, I promise you that every mum loses her shit at least once a
- If you do lie awake thinking of all the things you think you’ve done wrong, try instead to list the things you’ve done right. I bet there’s a lot more of those in a day.
- Take a look at your kids. Are they happy? If so you have nothing to feel guilty for!
Hope this helps you have a less stressful week. If you want to tell everyone your ridiculous mum guilt in the comments below go for it! Or maybe you’re a dad and you feel “dad guilt”? Let me know!