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Ditch the Mum guilt

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Mum guilt is real. It’s there all the time – even when you least expect it, hovering above you and flitting in and out of your already overwhelmed mind. Did I do enough today? Was I enough today? Did I over react? Did I provide enough stimulating activities? You’d think when you had baby number two you’d have become some kind of pro at ‘combatting’ the Mum guilt and ditching it altogether or at the very least being able to control it somehow. But oh no, quite the contrary. It comes back and hits you with a vengeance…stronger and harder than
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before. Am I doing enough baby activities? But what about my eldest? Am I focusing too much on my eldest to the detriment of my baby’s development? 

We have too many tabs open in our minds. All the time. Then lockdown comes along and hits you hard. Right in the feelers! You have good days, bad days and everything in between days. Of course you’re grateful for staying home and safe, grateful to even have children to be with, grateful to all of the exceptional key workers working around the clock. Eternally grateful. But you’re also entitled to

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have the bad days too. The days where you would give anything just to have five minutes’ peace (five minutes – who am I kidding?! 60 seconds would be bliss or just being able to toilet in privacy!). The days where you would love to just go a tiny bit further than around the block. The days where you would love your baby to just drop off rather than resisting it again and it being a battle. The days where you would love your toddler to just play with that activity (that took you 20 minutes to setup) for just a little longer than 60 seconds. The days
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when he asks how long until Daddy comes home approximately 6,231 times before midday. But then, before you know it, and when you least expect it, Mum guilt is back. How can you not be grateful for what you have? When there are so many others less fortunate than you? Friends who can’t have children perhaps. Friends who would give anything to have the issues you’ve got and the lack of sleep. Key workers who don’t even get to see their children. 

But then you realise, when did we ever get off on comparing ourselves to one another? As the

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Desiderata reminds us, ‘If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself’ and, let’s be honest, comparing ourselves to others (something a lot of us mums would admit to doing!) is definitely a killer of joy and happiness. You realise that your emotions are valid and it’s okay to feel everything you’re feeling (even the guilt!) and to allow it and let it pass. To cling on to the good days and move on from the not so good. To look for happiness and joy in every
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day – even if some days you have to look a little harder. And to love your children with every fibre of your being, because whilst they are exhausting (and guilt inducing!), they are absolutely amazing, our greatest achievement and there’s no doubt that, even in lockdown, without them we’d be lost.
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Mum guilt

- 16 May 20

Mum guilt is real. It’s there all the time – even when you least expect it, hovering above you and flitting in and out of your already overwhelmed mind. Did I do enough today? Was I enough today? Did I over react? Did I provide enough stimulating activities? You’d think when you had baby number two you’d have become some kind of pro at ‘combatting’ the Mum guilt and ditching it altogether or at the very least being able to control it somehow. But oh no, quite the contrary. It comes back and hits you with a vengeance…stronger and harder than before. Am I doing enough baby activities? But what about my eldest? Am I focusing too much on my eldest to the detriment of my baby’s development? 

We have too many tabs open in our minds. All the time. Then lockdown comes along and hits you hard. Right in the feelers! You have good days, bad days and everything in between days. Of course you’re grateful for staying home and safe, grateful to even have children to be with, grateful to all of the exceptional key workers working around the clock. Eternally grateful. But you’re also entitled to have the bad days too. The days where you would give anything just to have five minutes’ peace (five minutes – who am I kidding?! 60 seconds would be bliss or just being able to toilet in privacy!). The days where you would love to just go a tiny bit further than around the block. The days where you would love your baby to just drop off rather than resisting it again and it being a battle. The days where you would love your toddler to just play with that activity (that took you 20 minutes to setup) for just a little longer than 60 seconds. The days when he asks how long until Daddy comes home approximately 6,231 times before midday. But then, before you know it, and when you least expect it, Mum guilt is back. How can you not be grateful for what you have? When there are so many others less fortunate than you? Friends who can’t have children perhaps. Friends who would give anything to have the issues you’ve got and the lack of sleep. Key workers who don’t even get to see their children. 

But then you realise, when did we ever get off on comparing ourselves to one another? As the Desiderata reminds us, ‘If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself’ and, let’s be honest, comparing ourselves to others (something a lot of us mums would admit to doing!) is definitely a killer of joy and happiness. You realise that your emotions are valid and it’s okay to feel everything you’re feeling (even the guilt!) and to allow it and let it pass. To cling on to the good days and move on from the not so good. To look for happiness and joy in every day – even if some days you have to look a little harder. And to love your children with every fibre of your being, because whilst they are exhausting (and guilt inducing!), they are absolutely amazing, our greatest achievement and there’s no doubt that, even in lockdown, without them we’d be lost.

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