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Time to banish the Mum Guilt

1
Whether you’re a new mum or a seasoned professional, there’s something all mums have in common: Mum Guilt. It can be overwhelming, oppressive and time-consuming. I dare any mum to deny the presence of Mum Guilt at some point during their motherhood experience. I can’t offer a quick fix solution to banish it, but I can try and convince you why it is a waste of time and energy and how we can try to lessen it.
What is Mum Guilt?
It comes in aggressive pelts or sometimes little pesky waves. Regardless of the velocity of the attack, it’s a guilt
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that we feel concerning our role as a mother. It’s possible that it begins before your baby has even been born when you should be basking in the happiness of pregnancy. But there will always be someone who challenges your birth choices or your reasoning for finding out the gender long before the due date.
Once the baby is born
Unfortunately, the subject and practice of breastfeeding can still be a huge instigator of Mum Guilt. There will be people who criticise your choice of formula feeding or breastfeeding and make it a competition as to which you
SelfishMother.com
3
do. It shouldn’t be a matter of inflicting guilt over your choice; it should be able what is best for mother and baby. No woman should feel guilty for doing the right thing, but I felt terrible for not breastfeeding and the midwives did nothing to lessen the guilt with constant pressure
Growing up
We will inevitably feel guilty about missing a sports day, but if we do, I’m sure there is a good reason for it. If it’s the case, then surely it’s about ensuring that you make the next one. The guilt isn’t going to somehow miraculously place you at
SelfishMother.com
4
the event. And while you waste time afterwards feeling guilty, you could be spending that energy being with your child/ren. The thing is, it’s not that easy just to shrug off the guilt, is it?
Does it matter?
It’s worth considering whether the Mum Guilt is even valid. Is it worth feeling guilty that you didn’t feed your baby homemade vegetable puree every day? As for the guilt after you raise your voice or (let’s be honest, we all do it) shout at your child. It’s the worst contender in the Mum Guilt book. It’s about how you deal with it
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after. If you need to apologise, then do it and shut the episode down. If you need to give your child an extra big hug afterwards, then hug it out.
Going back to work
I had horrendous Mum Guilt when I returned to work when my youngest was one. I felt awful about putting both of the boys in nursery three days a week. With 70% of working women in the UK with dependent children, I reckon there’s a whole heap (technical HR term) of us who struggle with the balance of work versus parenting. If returning to work is a financial necessity, then surely we
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doing the right thing for our child and guilt makes no sense.
Something else
I felt bad about wanting to go back to work. Surely motherhood should be enough? For me, it wasn’t. I love my boys, but I needed something else, a different purpose or whatever you want to label it as. I’m not alone about the ‘wanting something else’ guilt. It’s very easy to be labelled as X’s Mummy when you also want to be known as YOU and praised for your work achievements rather than just praising yourself for reducing the number of times you feed them fish
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7
fingers each week.

I hate to say it, but Mum Guilt is real. Sadly, there’s no magic wand to eliminate it from our lives as mothers. I’m pretty sure that even when my boys are grown up, I’ll still feel it, albeit in a different way. For me, it’s about actively challenging the guilt when it appears. Have I really been a bad mum, or have I done what was best in the moment? Try it, I dare you. When it attacks, challenge your actions and I bet you’ve done nothing but be a fab mum.

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Mum guilt

- 11 Nov 19

Whether you’re a new mum or a seasoned professional, there’s something all mums have in common: Mum Guilt. It can be overwhelming, oppressive and time-consuming. I dare any mum to deny the presence of Mum Guilt at some point during their motherhood experience. I can’t offer a quick fix solution to banish it, but I can try and convince you why it is a waste of time and energy and how we can try to lessen it.

What is Mum Guilt?

It comes in aggressive pelts or sometimes little pesky waves. Regardless of the velocity of the attack, it’s a guilt that we feel concerning our role as a mother. It’s possible that it begins before your baby has even been born when you should be basking in the happiness of pregnancy. But there will always be someone who challenges your birth choices or your reasoning for finding out the gender long before the due date.

Once the baby is born

Unfortunately, the subject and practice of breastfeeding can still be a huge instigator of Mum Guilt. There will be people who criticise your choice of formula feeding or breastfeeding and make it a competition as to which you do. It shouldn’t be a matter of inflicting guilt over your choice; it should be able what is best for mother and baby. No woman should feel guilty for doing the right thing, but I felt terrible for not breastfeeding and the midwives did nothing to lessen the guilt with constant pressure

Growing up

We will inevitably feel guilty about missing a sports day, but if we do, I’m sure there is a good reason for it. If it’s the case, then surely it’s about ensuring that you make the next one. The guilt isn’t going to somehow miraculously place you at the event. And while you waste time afterwards feeling guilty, you could be spending that energy being with your child/ren. The thing is, it’s not that easy just to shrug off the guilt, is it?

Does it matter?

It’s worth considering whether the Mum Guilt is even valid. Is it worth feeling guilty that you didn’t feed your baby homemade vegetable puree every day? As for the guilt after you raise your voice or (let’s be honest, we all do it) shout at your child. It’s the worst contender in the Mum Guilt book. It’s about how you deal with it after. If you need to apologise, then do it and shut the episode down. If you need to give your child an extra big hug afterwards, then hug it out.

Going back to work

I had horrendous Mum Guilt when I returned to work when my youngest was one. I felt awful about putting both of the boys in nursery three days a week. With 70% of working women in the UK with dependent children, I reckon there’s a whole heap (technical HR term) of us who struggle with the balance of work versus parenting. If returning to work is a financial necessity, then surely we doing the right thing for our child and guilt makes no sense.

Something else

I felt bad about wanting to go back to work. Surely motherhood should be enough? For me, it wasn’t. I love my boys, but I needed something else, a different purpose or whatever you want to label it as. I’m not alone about the ‘wanting something else’ guilt. It’s very easy to be labelled as X’s Mummy when you also want to be known as YOU and praised for your work achievements rather than just praising yourself for reducing the number of times you feed them fish fingers each week.

I hate to say it, but Mum Guilt is real. Sadly, there’s no magic wand to eliminate it from our lives as mothers. I’m pretty sure that even when my boys are grown up, I’ll still feel it, albeit in a different way. For me, it’s about actively challenging the guilt when it appears. Have I really been a bad mum, or have I done what was best in the moment? Try it, I dare you. When it attacks, challenge your actions and I bet you’ve done nothing but be a fab mum.

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Corporate to Kids

Who: Sarah - Queen of self-deprecation Job: from corporate HR career to Mum, Writer and Blogger Children: two boys with a 13 month age gap!! Obsessions: writing, Haribos, rainbows, coffee, fizz

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