A few months ago some of my friends and I were chatting on our way to a rare girls night out when the subject of Mumma guilt popped up. One of my friends said she was not at all prepared for how bad it can be at times and we all agreed.
From not always getting the work / life balance right, questioning whether we spend enough time reading or playing with our children, not breastfeeding for long enough, feeling bad about being exhausted and skipping a few pages of the bedtime story, giving our kids chicken nuggets for dinner, answering calls and emails while our children want our attention, going back to work…. the list went on and on.
The funny thing is I consider both of my friends excellent mums, and it made me realise we spend so much time thinking about what we don’t quite manage to get right – rather than giving ourselves credit for what we do get right!
I almost always feel guilty for wanting to do anything for myself – because I’m a stay at home mum I often feel that I haven’t ‘earnt’ time to myself and I shouldn’t be spending time on things like my blog, because that’s not what pays the bills.
I imagine some working mums might feel guilty about going back to work and leaving their children in child care, but I totally get that many woman are passionate about their careers, while for others financial responsibilities means that they have to go back to work.
As women and mothers we now have more choices than ever, which can be both a blessing and a curse as there’s SO much pressure to ‘have it all’. To breastfeed and work, still churn out fabulous home cooked gourmet meals, have a home that looks like it belongs in the pages of a magazine and still be smiling and fabulous and fun.
Often we can feel guilty because of other people’s judgment.
‘How long did you breastfeed for?’
‘When are you going back to work?’
‘Don’t you get bored being a stay at home mum?’
These are all questions that people have asked me (as well as some other beauties including ‘How’s your weight going?’ when Ava was only two days old!) and have made me feel judged and guilty all at once.
At the end of the day, we all need to cut ourselves and each other some slack. We’re all doing the best we can every day in the situation we’re in.
Later this week, I’m heading off on a three day trip with some girlfriends. It wasn’t an easy decision to leave my family and head away, in fact I turned down the opportunity a couple of times before one of my best friends reminded me how short life is after the recent and very tragic loss of a friend to cancer, so with my hubby’s blessing – I decided to say yes to a mini break.
I have been hit pretty hard with Mumma guilt since then, especially when people make comments like ‘Well, it’s alright for some!’.
Gosh – can’t you just say something like, ‘Have fun, enjoy yourself!’ without making me feel worse than I already do!
When did we lose the ability to be happy for other people?
While my Mumma guilt is at an all time high, I’m determined to make the most of my mini break, enjoy some ‘me time’ and come home to my beautiful hubby and girls relaxed and refreshed.
I’ll even have a cocktail for you.
A x x x x
What do you feel guilty about as a mum?
Have you ever had a mini break away from your family?0