As women, I think we have a built in gene from when we were born to feel guilty about everything… Are we doing our jobs well enough?, Do we spend enough time with our family, friends, loved ones?, Did we study hard enough?, Are we doing enough exercise?, Am I taking the right vitamins (do I even need vitamins?), Do you ring your Mother enough?, Did I drink too much last night?, Maybe I shouldn’t have slept with that gorgeous bartender?, Maybe I should be spending time with my partner instead of being on social media/ reading/ on the phone?… you get the gist.
However, the biggest guilt trip of a woman’s life has to be MUMMY GUILT.
From the moment the doctor confirms we have a little human growing inside of use the guilt starts… “Am I drinking enough water?”, “Am I sleeping enough?”, “I forgot to take Elevit again!”, “Maybe I shouldn’t have eaten that large Quarter Pounder meal with chocolate thick shake and a cheeseburger?”, “Ohh soft serve ice cream is in a thick shake, isn’t it? Aaarg!” ; “Maybe I should have a water birth at home, everyone in the room has to be naked and a dancing, chanting holistic witch doctor?”…
Then the fun part… after the birth! “Oh god, maybe I didn’t really need that c-section even though it was an emergency, the baby had it’s cord around it’s neck and my blood pressure was a 190/180?”, “Oh god, I can’t breastfeed!”, “Breast is best… even when you don’t have a milk supply, have severe mastitis etc”, “Am I feeding the baby enough?”, “Maybe I should be using cloth instead of disposables?”, “I should have been doing housework instead of sleeping while the baby does”… the list is endless.
The guilt the first time you have a break from the baby for some sleep or a night out with your other half is immense, which leads to not being able to have a rest or enjoy your night out with your partner anyway!
Then there is the child care guilt! I used to get in the car after dropping off my eldest at child care and cry until I got to work! When they cry “Don’t leeeaaave meeee! Mmmummmmmyyy!” It rips your heart out. Yet five minutes after you are gone, they are fine. You, on the other hand, are on a guilt trip for the rest of the day.
And the Mummy guilt doesn’t stop when the kids get older, oh no sireee! My Mister 11 recently told his Dad that I don’t spend enough time with him and I’m always on my computer. I work from home, so yes I will be on the computer but usually not after school and I tend not to work on the weekends they are home. I try to spend quality time with all three boys.
I reminded Mr 11 that if I was in a job outside of the home, I wouldn’t be able to pick him up from school and be here after school. He would have to go to after school care and I wouldn’t be able to pick him up until after 6pm! To which I receives the response “Ohhh”.
There are also the guilts associated with food (healthy v’s some unhealthy), after school activities (are they getting enough or too much), sleep (are they getting enough), sickly kids (like mine… am I doing something wrong?), education (are they at the right school?), homework, school events…… on and on and on!
After nineteen years of being a ‘Mum’, I’ve come to the realisation that we can’t be perfect and we are all doing the best we can. So why feel guilty?
Bepathan Ointment have a range of parenting videos relating to parenting on YouTube aptly named “The Mummy Diaries”. The video below covers “Mummy Guilt” and is hosted by Em Russciano (comedian, presenter, writer and mother of two). The Mummy Diaries” are a series of five films to discuss the highs and lows of being a mother and looking after your baby.…
You’re nodding your head to that video, aren’t you? Yes, so was I! See, you aren’t alone.
What have you had “Mummy guilt” about? I would love to hear your stories!