‘Mother Guilt’ or ‘Mummy Guilt’ is a feeling that every mother has experienced at some point. It seems to follow us home from the hospital with our little bundle of joy and usually hits us when we need it the least.
It’s important to remember that guilt results from our thoughts and when you change your thoughts you can change your life.
Here’s why you need to ditch the Mother Guilt:
1. What you focus on grows.
Are you always focusing on the negative side of the situation? For example if you’ve recently returned to work, it’s easy to focus on the crying at the childcare drop off instead all of the fun activities your child is able to enjoy during the day. You focus on feeling obliged to work because you need the money instead of feeling grateful that you are able to earn an income that supports your family. If you are continually focused on the negative it becomes consuming and you will rarely feel happy.
To shift your focus to the positive, practice gratitude at the end of the day… what are 3 good things that happened that day? Focus on the positive aspects of your life and see what happens.
2. Thoughts become things
Is your Mummy guilt reflecting in your children’s behaviour? Children are incredibly perceptive and they often mirror what they see in us. If your guilt is taking over, you may be withdrawn and not as present with your children. Often young children react by craving more attention and it’s usually in the form of a tantrum. Older children may withdraw themselves so its’ important to release the guilt and don’t allow it impact your relationship with your children.
3. Improve your relationship with your partner
Guilt can sometimes be a warning sign that something is wrong and you need to talk about it with your partner. When you are feeling a pang of ‘Mother Guilt’ chat to your partner about what is going on. You are a parenting team and there may be something they can do to help, instead of you assuming the superwoman role in the family.
4. Happy Mum = Happy Kids
Have you ever noticed when you are happy and having fun your kids do the same? Raising your own happy vibes is one of the simplest ways to make your kids happy. Children love to laugh with us, sharing fun and happy moments will be the greatest gift you can give them.
A tip for working mums feeling guilty about missing out on a day together: when you get home from work flick the switch and have some happy time together before you get into the evening routine. Just five minutes of crazy fun will lift the mood of the whole household.
5. Feelings of guilt leads to stress, which can lead to illness
Stress is one of the worst things for women’s health, our body struggles to function effectively when we are under stress. Guilt can perpetuate and grow, leading to extreme stress. Stress interferes with our sleep, gut health, cellular function and leads to dis-ease in the body. If your Mummy guilt is leading to stress then you need to take action to ensure you deal with it rather than allowing it to continue and burning you out.
6. You’ll have more energy
Negative emotions drain us of energy… and Mummy guilt is no exception. As a Mum your energy is precious, why drain it further with negative thoughts? Change your thoughts, improve your energy!
7. There’s no such thing as the perfect mother!
Or having it all – it’s a super myth that needs busting. You are doing the best you can with the resources available to you. Stop feeling guilty and give yourself a pat on the back. (Or even better go and have a massage!) The guilt you’ve been consumed by isn’t reality, you feel like a bad mother but your children really do think that you are the best Mum in the world. The latter is your reality so embrace it.
If you’ve been battling with ‘Mother Guilt’ I want you to know that everything you need to do to overcome it is inside of you. When you ditch the Mummy guilt and focus on the positives in your life you will be happier, have more energy and your kids will still think you’re the best Mum in the world… but the difference is you will know they are right!