My gorgeous boys are 9 (his birthday is today – happy birthday xx) and 6 years old. Over the time of being a mum I’ve experienced so much mummy guilt…. and yes its not restricted to mums.
This guilt I’ve put on myself and now my kids are older they can push that guilt button very well indeed. Do yours do this? I’m sure at this age its more unintentional than intentional….. maybe?! But I think I’m a pro at pushing that button myself.
I’ve always been quite an anxious mum. For some that may come as a shock as I’m quite laid back in certain, sometimes quite high-pressure, situations but as a mum…..having to keep these little people alive…happy….to bring them up right….to give them great experiences….to protect them from awful experiences….gosh its such a pressure! Just me?
This anxiety isn’t something that abates for me, in fact it has got worse in general. Going through a break-up, becoming a single mum, not having that family-unit I thought we’d always have has bought additional anxieties on board …. who knew there could be more!! Also now kids are school age there is so much pressure to juggle work-home-school-activities, sleep enough, wake up in time, wash (and dry) those favourite joggers that they ‘need’ the next day, to smile when they give me a note about attending an event that means I have to be in two places at once. I also put pressure on myself to juggle those balls efficiently and never to drop them. But lets face it, its unrealistic…..I drop those balls like everyone does…. and that’s when the guilt sets in and the self confidence plummets…its relentless isn’t it? Sometimes feels like it!
We all drop the ball sometimes…don’t we? I’m beginning to learn not to be so hard on myself. Is it the end of the world when we drop those balls? Sending my child to school on what I thought was non-uniform day when it wasn’t…….not the end of the world……well done me he was dressed in clothes and clean ones at that (we have a battle for getting dressed) so that’s a win surely!! Forgetting their lunch….well I just need to go back for it or school will feed him and charge me for it! No big deal?! Dropping them off at breakfast club and not to the school gate that day! They love it there and we get to earn some pennies….why feel bad!? I’m trying to be kinder to myself, to be realistic…..was it really that bad ….should I really feel this terrible?
I saw an insta-story in the last few weeks from @feather_the_empty_nest which I felt compelled to comment on (please do check Elle out). It reminded me of recent experience – missing my eldest in a swimming gala (actually there are many to mention but this one racked me with guilt).
I didn’t know parents could go until last minute (day before) and I was working the day of the gala and so no way I could go. I already felt bad as my son doesn’t really do sport and so this was one of the first times he was doing anything like this. But I told him I couldn’t go so he knew and could prepare for it. As all good children do ….. he forgot (a child trait….def a boy trait!) and so when I saw him he was so upset, he had looked for me and I wasn’t there. OMG I was mortified!! He cried! I cried!
The next day I was commuting to work and this was ruminating in my head…honestly I felt like the worst parent in the world. In the end I just had to give myself a good talking to. I try and make everything, I stay up late to sew badges on shirts, go to open mornings where I’m there for hours only to see my child for a milli-second, I read to them, I make sure they’ve healthy meals, they are ferried from here and there so they can make their clubs and activities, I arrange play-dates and sleepovers…..gosh I even let them make forts out of my settee…..I just couldn’t make this one work! I needed to give myself a break…I needed to give myself a good old talking too. “I am doing a good job, I’m doing the best I can”. His heartbreak lasted a day or two, my guilt longer but the talking to myself helped ease it quicker than normally it would.
The point of this is this……if you’re like me…. give yourself a break now and then. If you experience guilt that quite frankly is not substantiated give yourself a good talking too…if that’s not working… talk to someone, listen to them when they remind you about everything good you do and how you ARE doing a GREAT job, start to BELIEVE them.
You’ve got this…. Happy Mother’s Day xxx