So sticking to a blogging schedule when you’ve got a five-month-old baby, a household to keep tidy and clean, emails to reply to and other responsibilities to contend with, there’s just not enough hours in the day.
Anway, that’s not what I wanted to chat about tonight, I wanted to talk about this harrowing feeling called “mum guilt”.
Being a nanny and nursery practitioner before I had Arthur I had heard about this “mum guilt” but never felt guilty for something I knew would benefit the children in the long run, but becoming a mum myself. WOW! This mum guilt is a very real and harsh emotion.
Becoming a mum is a full-time job. You spend half the time tidying up and wondering why your house never looks tidy. Yet you feel guilty for not taking moments to enjoy that time.
Side note; I still refuse to get a cleaner.
You want to spend that precious time with your baby but at the same time after a couple of days only occupying them, having broken sleep and living off coffee, you crave some alone time. Yet when that alone time comes you feel guilty for taking it.
I speak about self-care a lot on my blog, as it is something that I find has helped me through some really dark times in my life. I wrote a post about “why it’s important to take time for yourself” and “my top self-care tips” which you can read if you click the titles.
Break the rules.
I say, break the rules, even though really there is no rulebook when it comes to parenting so write your own.
When I was pregnant I remember getting an overwhelming amount of un-asked for advice. I found this seriously annoying as really I knew I was only going to do what Jack and I wanted to do. But people love to tell you what you should do, it’s human nature I suppose. Anyway, my point. Don’t take it as gospel, do what you want. Write your own rules and most importantly DO NOT compare yourself and your child to someone else.
So what if Jenny from number 10, no not downing street although she might as well be a bloody politician, gets all her housework done every Monday before the kids are even awake.
Who cares if Mrs. Piper judges you for buying that bottle of wine for the third week in a row, and makes a stupid comment like “should you really be buying that? you’ve got a baby you know”. Of course, you just smile and nod politely making up some excuses like “oh it’s not for me, it’s a gift for my in-laws”… when all you really want to say is. ” I know I’ve got a baby I pushed him out of my own vagina! I wake up to feed him every night and soothe him back to sleep every. single. day.”
My point is, just try and ignore those darn right rude “Mrs. Pipers” and don’t compare yourself to anyone let alone Jenny from number 10.
Do what makes you happy and keeps you sane.
This breaks the rules of what my mum has brought me up to be, however, although 99.9% of the time “mums are always right” there is that tiny 0.1% when you can decide what’s best for you at the moment.
She loves to speil out those awful words, which much to my own disgust I have said myself at times, ” In life, we can’t always do what we want to do, sometimes we have to do it because it needs to be done”… This would usually be said right after I tried to get out of doing some sort of chore.
Anyway, there are occasions when you become a parent that you want to go out and try and remember life before you were mum.
I have attempted this a few times, a couple has been successful others have been… shall we just say they haven’t gone to plan. Now, before I admit this I’d just like to clarify that I am more than happy to attend to my child’s needs whether I am at home or out, I will always put him first. However, on the times that I have had to rush home because Arthur isn’t settling with either my mum or Jack, I feel the heaviest most un-controllable sense of guilt.
My mind goes crazy. Thoughts darting everywhere.
I’m an awful mother.
I shouldn’t have left him.
What was I thinking?
Why am I so selfish.
What if he’s been sick due to crying so much.
I have scared him for life because I have left him too much.
What if, what if, what if… the list is endless.
STOP WITH THE GUILT!
This behavior is so damaging. Whatever your scenario, just remember that you are mum and you know best. If you make a mistake well that’s just life.
We can’t all be perfect all of the time.
Let’s face it, it’s not like you are going to leave your baby with a psychopath.
Let’s try our best to be that mum who gives the woman whose child is screaming and kicking in the supermarket a smile that says “keep going mum, you are doing a great job”.
How about instead of sitting there wishing you had time to sit down with a good book and a cuppa. MAKE TIME. Stop doing the washing and sit down, take 5.
We shouldn’t feel guilty for taking time for ourselves, we all need this time to survive. Why should it stop as soon as you have a baby? Rhetorical question, of course, it shouldn’t stop.
If there are mum’s out there reading this then just know that you are amazing humans. Seriously though, I feel like you are superheroes.
Remeber, taking time for yourself is just as important as cleaning your house, or returning that email.