Why I'm letting go of the mummy guilt

1 June 2016

Dear friend,

This week I was chatting with my friend online. She's a brilliant, fun, caring, amazing mum who due to shit luck family circumstances is having to return to full time work. She is feeling guilty...
Another young, new mum friend is struggling with getting her child to sleep. She asked, what am I doing wrong? Nothing!!! She is feeling guilty...
My friend has a sick child, she told me she should have taken them to the Dr earlier. She is feeling guilty...
My big lad was ill on Sunday but I had to work on Monday so sent him to school even though I knew he wasn't feeling 100%. I felt guilty...

The Mummy guilt appears when...
  1. I lack patience
  2. I let them have too much screen time
  3. I feed them junk food
  4. I take time for myself
  5. I hide the last cornetto
  6. I can't afford that new game...
  7. I notice their nails are overgrown and we are at the Dr/clinic
  8. I work too much
  9. I forget to be the tooth fairy 
  10. I put their art work in the bin
  11. I get bored playing top trumps
  12. I can't be bothered to organise that playdate
  13. I make an excuse to get out of going swimming
  14. I spend money on myself 
  15. They wear creased clothes
  16. I have to wake them early because I'm going to work
  17. I give the answer to the maths homework question because I can't be bothered to explain it
  18. I say it's too late for a story
  19. I can't help out at school
  20. The dentist criticises their teeth brushing
That's a hell of a lot of guilt for anyone to carry around, right?! Yet as mums we do this to ourselves (well most of the mum's I know do.. ) on a daily basis. 

Used well, guilt helps us feel empathy, connect to our children, and get busy making needed changes. OK if I am honest, I need to be stricter with their computer time and I must supervise the tooth brushing more and make them eat healthier. I can understand this guilt and do something about it.

But I am my own worst enemy. Guilt has a habit of eating away at me when I get into bed at night or when I wake in the morning.  It smoothers me in a duvet of regret and recriminations. Why did I say/do that? I should have said/done... I strive for perfection in everything and it can be exhausting trying to please everyone all the time. Negative guilt ultimately gets in the way of doing what needs to be done and can leave us feeling judged.

After our conversation my best friend sent me this fabulous quote...

Behind every great kid is a mum who's afraid she's messing it up!

I am so lucky to have an amazing friend who get's me. This quote instantly made me smile and feel better about myself. 

I have amazing kids!

I must be doing something right...

Maybe a little bit of mummy guilt does keep us on our toes as long as we don't let it take over.

What do you think? 

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