Someone once said to me that mummy guilt is a natural part of parenting and that it comes with the placenta and I think that’s partly true – it’s natural to want to do the best for your child and the media has lots of opinions on what it means to be of ‘what we need to do to be a good mum’ – natural birth, breastfeeding, home made organic baby food, staying at home or going to work and if this is different to our choices or how it works out for us it undermines our confidence and can make us feel guilty. However, I’ve also heard this said…
I think that is quite a valid argument and as Sherry said in last year’s conference…
…good enough really is good enough… …none of us needs to be the perfect mother
So how can we ‘ditch the guilt’ how can we stop believing that the choices we make or situations we find ourselves in aren’t the best ones we can manage:
- get rid of un-achievable ‘to be a good mum I need to…’ rules – don’t beat yourself I up about what you can’t do celebrate what you can manage.
- take the positives from the choices you make.
- take time for yourself to recharge your energy levels – you can’t be the best mum you want to be if you are exhausted.
- be thankful for what you have and identify the triggers for guilt (and rewrite the rules – see above).
- celebrate your compromises and the choices you make.
Guilt can be useful as a compass to highlight where you want to go – if you feel guilty think “why am I feeling this and is it serving me” and change your rules or use it as a catalyst for change so you don’t keep feeling guilty.