If you’re experiencing mum guilt, it’s completely normal. But beating yourself up for feeling guilty will only make matters worse.
Being a mum is one of the hardest and most rewarding things a woman will ever do. Unfortunately, as mums, we can be so hard on ourselves when it comes to having a break away from our children – which is one of the main mum guilt triggers.
The thought of heading out for a coffee or wine with a friend sounds so appealing. Normal things that pre kids we wouldn’t have given a second thought to like getting a massage or a haircut, now suddenly stops us in our tracks. Mum Guilt is sneaky, it can pounce on you from out of nowhere. It feels like an almighty pressure coming down upon us as when we go to book an appointment or dedicate some time-out for ourselves and it really needs to go out of our lives!
How can we feel free of the burden of Mum Guilt?
- Give yourself permission to ‘take time out’ regularly
The saying goes ‘you can’t pour from an empty cup’. Make time for yourself, prioritise YOU. Book yourself a lunch or nail date with a friend on the weekend. If you can have a few hours away from being a mum, it helps you refocus and be a better mum!
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Don’t wait until you are feeling overwhelmed and exhausted to shout for help. Ask or accept help before you get to that point. Say yes when a friend offers to take bub or bring you a coffee – it might just ease some pressure. It’s easy to say ‘I’m fine’ but giving you that small bit of extra help might give you some relief and alleviate the guilt.
- Try to understand what is triggering the guilt
What’s triggering you to feel this way? Is it because you’ve had no time away from bub? The thought of being without bub makes you feel strange. Is it a feeling of not living up to unrealistic expectations we set on ourselves? Explore the feelings of guilt and see if you can peel back the layers of the onion to find out really what is the root cause of this guilty sensation.
- Talk to someone friend or family member
Have a chat to someone close to you, talking it out and getting some advice might help you see it in a different way. Also, you could reach out to COPE for additional support and help.
- Join a group of like-minded mums
Join a mum’s group or a mum’s exercise group so you can chat with other mums in your situation, this might make you feel better knowing that everyone is going through hard times. You could even arrange a coffee (or wine) together with a new bunch of mums.
And remember, you are doing your best and you deserve a rest – whenever you need it.