We all suffer from some form of mum guilt. We think we’re not engaging enough, reading enough or taking them out enough. But I’m telling you what, you are doing enough! Every time I find myself doing something for me I begin to feel guilty about it. I’m feeling extremely guilty for having time to do other things other than care for him. Time’s where he’s at his Grandparents for the day, and I’m either working on the house or working on the blog, I just feel guilty. So bloody guilty. Why?
As Mother’s, we’re expected to do so much. Not by our children themselves, but by the universe. Everyone expects us to care for our children, work, run a household and look after ourselves (don’t even get me started on the people that think we should look after ‘our man’). And if we’re not doing all those things were made to feel ashamed, like we should be doing more. But we know we possibly can do no more, we’re doing all we can and trying to prioritise, always leaving ourselves to last.
And I just want to remind you, that is okay to think of yourself. It’s okay to take a break, to take some time and put yourself first. We’re only human. We’re not Superwoman. A Mother is one person who does the work of 20 for free, but sometimes we need time to recharge. If we recharged ourselves as much as we recharged our phones we would be an all around happier and healthier person.
Before our babies, it was all me, me, me. And the shock to the system you receive when your baby arrives is massive. The pressure for it to be all baby, baby, baby is heavy. You’re made to feel a horrible mother if you leave your baby in safe hands just so you can take a moment. “Tut tut, didn’t you think this through when you decided to have one?” – I hated those comments.
I remember crying on the phone to a close relative on the week that Bradley had gone back to work. They were wondering why I wasn’t returning phone calls. I just didn’t want to. I didn’t feel like talking to anyone, I was just sad, and I felt guilty about being sad, but why? I just had this amazing healthy baby, I shouldn’t be sad. But I was. I was sad because everything that I once was had been torn away from me. I didn’t have a second to think about myself or what I wanted and that’s a very raw feeling and something it takes a while to adjust to.
They told me to stiffen up. That I should have known it would be this way. That I was being selfish to even think of myself now. I couldn’t believe the words I was hearing. After going through a traumatic birth and having Sepsis, I think I was entitled to feel as shit as I wanted.
Those remarks only made things worse. Were they right? Was I being selfish? Hell no I wasn’t. My baby had everything he needed, why couldn’t there be something left for me.
How do you expect to look after a baby when you’re not looking after yourself?
Don’t worry about the Mum guilt – It’s ok.