Mummy guilt is so ingrained into my life that I simply cannot remember what life was like before kids. You know, that really carefree feeling of enjoying yourself without the emotional pull of perhaps what you should be doing or feeling or being? Don’t get me wrong, having kids is by far my greatest achievement in life and I love them to bits, but I would love to get rid of the mum guilt that has slowly crept into my life and has unpacked and is now living there.
I call it mum guilt as I always thought that as mums, the primary carer, it was only us who had this feeling. I certainly hadn’t really ever heard of many dads getting it. But I am here to tell you they do! Just as much as we do apparently, they just don’t verbalise it as much – at least my husband doesn’t.
I think in today’s world were many parents both choose or need to work on top of juggling the myriad of other parenting elements, guilt is a feeling that many of us get. So what are some tricks to abate the guilt a little.
Take regular me time.
Everyone needs to feel their version of normal, neutral, you. Take some time each week and do something to recharge your batteries and to give back to yourself. Time is limited, we are all busy, but even half an hour a day is enough to give back to yourself and isn’t too much time that you start feeling the guilt about not being with the kids. Things such as read a good book or flick through your favourite magazine, take a long bath or meditate, watch your favourite TV show or listen to a podcast, go for a walk or do some exercise at home or even have a weekly manicure or do an at home beauty treatment. Whatever it is that you take joy in, do it and make it regular.
I don’t know what it is, but I feel reasonably relaxed and connected after a playdate. A time during the day or weekend where you and your kids meet up with another parent and their kids. As mums we can chat over coffee or wine and the kids can run around and keep each other entertained for an hour. Not only is your child having a great time but you are also connecting with friends and feeding your soul. Win:Win.
Let go of nostalgia.
I think many of us grew up with mum at home. mum driving us around to all our activities, mum organising our birthday’s, mum spending time in the school seeing us achieve. Unfortunately as the years have passed time has changed. Life is generally more hectic now and time is valuable. The way we were brought up with mum always being there is simply just not what is realistic now. Many of us would love to have the baking abilities to cook all the birthday cakes – but sometimes it saves at lot of time and panic buying a cake and you know what, that is ok. Sometime we can’t always be at school daytime functions due to work commitments, and it sucks, but it is ok. There will be many others. Sometimes other members of the family or people from your village may need to do school pick up or drop your child off to a sporting activity and that is so normal now, that kids are very accustom to it. We often want our kids to experience what we did, the great family times we had, but in reality that is never going to happen because times have changed. Do what you can do and miss what you can’t and try and find a happy medium – life is much better there.
What is the number one activity that you do that gives you mummy guilt?