For those of you who have never heard of mum guilt, it’s basically that feeling most mums have of not doing well enough as a parent. Most days there will be an element of mum guilt at play whether its feeling guilty about how much TV they’ve watched (because they are OBSESSED with Encanto!) or worrying that you’re not pushing them enough academically or with extra-curricular activities.
I’ve always been aware of mum guilt but what made me think about it recently was when a fellow single mum was struggling to come to terms with the weekends that she doesn’t have her children. She spoke about how her friends had been less than supportive of her enjoying her child free time, instead seemingly expecting her to be in pieces without them.
I’ve been the mum that spent weekends being upset and angry that my children weren’t with me and then filling that time with housework and doing things for my children. However, instead of wallowing and being angry with a situation I couldn’t change I decided to make the most of my child free weekends and most of the time I do.
I suggested to this mum that maybe her friends were in fact jealous of her child free time, as rather than having to stay in on a weekend she is free to go gallivanting if she wants.
Why should we feel guilty for having time for ourselves? I love my girls to pieces but I also love my child free weekends. They give me chance to be me and not just mummy, to relax, unwind, recharge my batteries, and have fun. I know having this time also makes me a better mum especially as the rest of the time its just me and my girls pretty much 24/7.
It’s amazing the amount of pressure we put on ourselves as mums and I’m not sure where it comes from other than wanting the best for our children. Its safe to say that social media has a huge part to play in mum guilt as does pressure from friends, family, and society.
I think one of the things we forget and beat ourselves up about is that we are human. Yes, we may wish we could be like Mary Poppins with our children all the time but that’s a little unrealistic!!
One of the worst things we can do is compare ourselves to others as we can spend time stressing about what we think we are doing wrong and how to be a better mum when actually we are forgetting something important….
Realising that all our children want is us and that they’re not judging us or comparing us to other mums. If our children are happy, healthy, fed and most importantly loved, then we are doing an amazing job!
So, it doesn’t matter if the house doesn’t look like a show home or if they have had more screen time that you like.
Yes, we might do things we regret but that doesn’t take away from the amazing job we are doing. In fact, allowing our children to see that we are human is important such as allowing them to see us make mistakes and apologise for them.
So, for all the mums (and parents) out there who feel carry that guilt, remember to be kind to yourself and cut yourself some slack!
Yes, our children mean the world to us but that shouldn’t invalidate how important it is to look after ourselves and even put ourselves first sometimes.