The "Mum guilt" | How to overcome it?
We’ve all felt it. That moment when you look at your child playing happily with a friend at the park, and your thoughts start to swirl. Is my child happy enough? Does my child get enough attention? Do I spoil my child with too much attention? Should I be doing more, doing less, doing something else?
Before you know it, you’re doubting your (very good) parenting skills, and you’re convinced that your child will grow up to resent you forever. But wait! What if we told you this was known as ‘mum guilt’ and that it’s actually quite common
Because every single parent you meet will have, at some time, felt the same way. But that doesn’t mean you need to. We’ll say it now— yes, you are enough. And just in case you don’t believe us just yet, here are five tips to help you overcome mum guilt once and for all.
Know that you’re not alone
That old saying, “a problem shared is a problem halved”? It’s true. Every single word of it. Because until you actually tell someone how you feel, you’ll never know that they feel exactly the same way too. Because, whether we like it or not, feeling guilt as a parent is totally normal. It’s a sign that you care deeply about your child, and honestly, that other mum feels it too. She’s just better at hiding it.
Stop comparing yourself
Your journey is your own. You cannot compare apples and oranges, so don’t compare yourself to that other mum at the park. She is probably also plagued with feelings of guilt and assuming that you have it all together.
Pick your battles
And this goes with most situations in life! Take a moment to think about the issue at hand, the thing that is really making you feel guilty… and then take another moment to assess whether it’s really worth the stress.
Worried that your house is looking like a tip while the mum three doors down is posting away photos of a gleaming kitchen on Instagram? While there’s a pretty good chance those photos are totally staged, there’s another, more important, lesson here— it doesn’t matter what either of your kitchens looks like. If you’ve got kids, your house is going to look messy from time to time. Sorry bout it!
What matters is whether you let it affect you or not. If you’re able to close the door on the mess from time to time and promise yourself you’ll deal with it later (and let’s face it, it’s a lot more fun playing with your child today after all), you’ll find a weight literally lifted from your shoulders! This leads us to our next piece of advice…
Embrace the chaos
Life as a parent is busy. It can be chaotic. It can feel like you never have a moment’s peace and quiet. But that’s because you have a little one who is totally dependent upon you to guide them, educate them, and mould them into functioning members of society. That’s pretty big!
So if things are a little crazy while you’re doing this… so what? All you need at the end of the day is a short window of time to whip out the Sticky Stopper spray, give everything a quick wipe down, and get it all ready for the next day. We are so glad to be on your side for the messy moments.
We promise you, your child will not remember how tidy your house was when they were growing up, but they will remember that time you built a sofa den with them, helped them to bake cookies, and played hide and seek for hours. That’s what counts.
You’re doing great
Our last tip might sound a little strange, and you may have heard it already many times. But honestly, we just have to say it. If you’re feeling any level of mum guilt right now, then just know that you’re doing alright at the whole parenting thing. You’re feeling this way because you care, because you want to do your best as a parent, and because your child is your world. You’re bound to have some fears that disguise themselves as guilt when you inevitably feel as though you’ve not quite hit the mark. Welcome to parenting. You’re doing an amazing job.