‘Mum guilt’ effects every mother, whether you’re pregnant or your child is 40, you never stop worrying about if you made the right choices or if they’re making the right choices. But just because it’s normally a part of motherhood, doesn’t mean you should allow it to consume you or take over your thoughts. Letting that guilt rule your life is not healthy so let’s look at some ways you can combat it.
Ask Yourself Why You Do Something
There are reasons for the decisions and choices you make. For example, if your guilt stems from going to work, remind yourself why you do it and what benefits it brings to your family – it could be extra income for fun activities or simply keeping a roof over your heads. Either way it benefits your children.
Also consider what the long term benefits and impacts are for your children. It might be that it’s teaching your child important values or inspiring them to think more ambitiously about their own future.
Reminding yourself of the direct and indirect benefits to your family is a good way to quieten the guilt.
Do Something For Yourself
Yes, this may lead to more guilt but giving yourself a chance to relax and enjoy yourself will ultimately mean you have more energy and will be in a better mood when you spend time with your child. A good mental balance is key to every relationship.
Stop Spending Time With The Wrong People
Put some distance between you and anyone who makes you feel guilty about your parenting style. You don’t need to listen to them. You know what is best for your child and you also know that you are doing everything you can for them.
Stop Comparing Yourself To Others
As mothers, it’s easy to start comparing ourselves to others – to wonder if we’re letting our child down because they’re not doing the hundred other activities another mum is offering their child. But you and your children are individuals with your own set of circumstances and values which means you cannot be compared to anyone else. Remembering this will help you stay sane and stop that guilt building.
Make the effort to do things together when you do have some spare time. Go to the park, go for walks, picnics, go to exhibitions, take them to concerts - make lots of precious memories to treasure. Those are the days your children will remember. Plus, when you feel that guilt rising, you too can look back on these days and remind yourself of what a great job you’re doing.
Above All Else…
The most important thing you can do for a child is love them unconditionally. Beyond that, nothing else really matters. Tell your child you love them regularly, hug them, and be there for them. That is all a child truly wants and needs. At the end of the day, is your child happy? If the answer is yes, you have cracked the motherhood code.
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