Drop the Guilt

Hi everyone,

Welcome to the seventh episode of the Pick Me Up Podcasts. I am very much looking forward to sharing today’s episode with you as I know that every single mum will be experiencing these feelings, and not just as a fleeting moment through their child’s life, but on a daily basis, several times throughout the day. Have you guessed it yet? Yep, today’s topic is all about mum guilt. I really hope that by sharing my honest experiences of my daily mum guilt it will offer comfort to any mum out there experiencing the same, and can provide the pick me up that is often needed at different points Throughout the day.

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Drop The Guilt Transcript

Today’s topic is really short and sweet because I think it’s the kind of episode that you can actually turn to several times a day. So I wanted to make it something that was really easy to pick up whenever you’re experiencing these feelings, because today’s topic is all about Mum guilt: Something that seems to become second nature when you’re a parent, just in the same way that changing a nappy does.

Its crazy the things that you attach mum guilt to, it’s absolutely anything you do, from house chores, working, child care, child play, and the amount it shows up throughout the day, every single day is insane.

I would actually go as far as saying that it starts from the moment our baby is conceived (maybe even before). The feeling that you’ve not eaten enough nutritious food, you’ve not been exercising enough, you haven’t set aside much time to connect with baby, or even that you want this Pregnancy to be done with because actually unlike all the social media accounts and the fairy tales that we see in films, you’re not enjoying it quite that much.

So you’ve got 40 whole weeks of it. And then it only gets worse once baby arrives. Perhaps that’s why I’m feeling like I need to talk about it on this podcast right now, because I’m currently battling the pregnancy guilt and the mummy guilt.

It is consuming, day in day out. It’s just that some days the tide is a little more rough than on others.

Let’s take today for example:

I opted to give us our normal breakfast instead of the fancy Instagram one I had seen and had planned, but I then felt guilty for not giving him enough variety in his diet.

I then chose to sit him in front of the TV for 10minutes so I could wash up instead of playing with him and then I felt guilty for not being fun and engaged enough.

I opted to eat a chocolate bar instead of a piece of fruit for my snack, I then felt awful for not giving my unborn baby the best nutrients.

When my little bear chose to nap and I choose to sit and watch rubbish on the TV instead of working and then I gave myself a hard time that I should be being more productive with my time.

When I do eventually get down to work my little boy decides that he’s then going to wake up from his nap earlier, so then I feel guilty because I’m annoyed with him that he hasn’t stayed asleep.

Then when he doesn’t listen and still insists on climbing, I raise my voice a little and then I feel guilty because I’ve not dealt with it very well and worry what the neighbours will think too.

And all of this only takes us up to 2pm!

So with this constant struggle it’s no wonder we are left feeling exhausted, deflated, overwhelmed (and underwhelmed actually at what mummy life is turning out to be like at times compared to how we thought it was going to be).

I think Mum guilt is very much like the ocean and the waves: It comes and goes. Sometimes it’s bigger and sometimes it’s smaller, but it’s always there. But mummies, I am totally riding these waves with you along with every other Mum.

I think mum guilt definitely takes away our ability to relax and enjoy the now. It makes us feel so much more stressed and pressured and it ends up making us compare ourselves by scrolling through social media seeing what other mums are doing and then ending up feeling even more guilty and making us feel like we are not good enough.

Obviously I’m talking from my own experience here, but honestly, I question whether this is something that will ever go away. I think, I fact, I know this is something that even my mum experiences now and that’s 30+ years down the line.

Maybe, it’s something that’s inbuilt, and maybe actually it’s about accepting that we will always experience this feeling. But what I do know is that there are ways that we can help manage it. So let’s look at them:

Firstly, I’d say the first thing you can do is talk. You can talk to any mum, be it a current one, a new mum, or someone who went through it 30 years ago. It will definitely help you to realise that what you are experiencing is normal and that you are not alone. I think what that will help you to do is take the judgment off of yourself and make you feel so much better about things.

Building a network of people around you can be hugely helpful for the days when the guilt just feels a bit too much. We personally used the app called Peanut, and some ante-natal classes that we attended as well, and honestly, the support network that I’ve built through those has been incredible over the last year and a half and honestly, I wouldn’t have got through it without those people. Whenever I’m feeling like “this is too much” “I’m not doing well enough” and that guilt overwhelms me, I turn to these people and they make me feel like it’s all completely normal and that I don’t need to put that guilt on myself. Of course, it doesn’t have to be other mums, it could relatives, friends, colleagues. But I’d definitely recommend that you sit down and work our who your support network could be.

Another great tool is affirmations. Now for some people it may feel a bit airy-fairy or hocus-pocus type stuff but don’t knock it till you’ve tried it, because it’s all about what your feeding your subconscious mind with. I’ve written a blog on affirmations for mums and I’d definitely recommend that you check it out. There could be some really great ones on there that you find you connect with and are really useful.

Another great tool is acceptance that you don’t have to be superwoman. Believe me when I say I am hugely talking to myself here. But it really is a tool that can make all the difference. Accepting that you’re doing the very best you can and that’s all you can ask has a huge ability to really take that weight off your shoulders.

And finally, ask for help. Again, something that I continue to work on and need to improve on. But sometimes, simply being overwhelmed can make us feel so much more stressed and more likely to add guilt on to ourselves. So the next time someone says to you “how are you doing?” Be honest! Let them know how it is and let them have the opportunity to be able to help you and really make a difference, because I promise you that it does make a huge difference.

So there you have it, my honest and transparent dealing with daily mum guilt. I really hope that in sharing this it has helped you to see that you are not alone and that what you feel is completely normal. So give some of my top tips a go and see what a difference they can make, because honestly, I’ve tried them and I’ve seen how much they can help.

Sending love, as always.

It has been great to connect with you

Thanks for stopping by, I hope that you found it useful. Please feel free to share any comments or questions you have below, and if you have any requests of topics you’d like to hear then I would love to know.

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