Having a Mum Guilt moment?
Mum guilt strikes at them most inopportune times. We are going about our day and suddenly feel guilty about the fact we are not with our kids. We relive the situation that unfolded at breakfast and maybe it was not the best way to deal with it; or when our kids are older we question ourselves did we do the right thing in 2009? Why do we as mother constantly beat ourselves up about our actions and reactions after children?
Personally I have hit Mum guilt hell in these last few weeks; the fact that I have taken 3 weeks off from my normal day job. I wanted to be more present with my kids after school or to have the house better organized so its not as chaotic as usual. I have achieved these aspects and I should be satisfied with the outcome. But as all Mothers I am not. We torment ourselves with thoughts that what ever we are doing at the moment we should be doing something else and comparing with other women. When we are doing chores we feel like we should be reading books to the kids or spending time with them developing skills.
In this time I wanted to go training and add in a few extra sessions of yoga or long beach walks just for my own mindfulness. I did but as I was warming up the other day I felt this sickening feeling of ‘oh I should be’. I should be cleaning up the kid’s room, I should be organizing their clothing or I should be … rather than enjoying the freedom of just being me for a little bit. It has been 14 years of non-stop teaching and mothering. It is possible that I have created such a habit of this mindset; that now it is imbedded? Or am I looking at the judgments from others that I maybe seeing. Or is the constant questioning of why I am out and about at today. Am I meant to be at home only? Should I be stuck to the kitchen sink? I believe it is not just mothers and women who do this to us; it is still the general view of our society.
Is there a question of expectation from other women, other mothers or men? Do we strive to impress each other with our superwomen powers? Do we personally judge as we see women having a life that we would like?
Unfortunately of course we do!
Guilt is such a confusing emotion because it undermines our happiness. I think we see the guilt as a way of controlling our self as we have changed as the parenting hat became modeled ever so tightly. If we treat guilt like we treat all other mind games. We need to accept the feelings of guilt and effects on our bodies and identify the feelings whether they are helpful or not. We must also seek to have less expectation or judgment of others.
HOW TO RELIEVE
Its important to solve this feeling quickly and a way I did was writing and becoming conscious of my feeling and when I was down I would ask myself questions in a journal I had. I have always been a note taker. I would write a list of pros and cons – I would write down and the problem and answer my own questions like a rational person. This seemed to work and generally I would be able to step easily from the headspace.
Next time you are having a moment of mother guilt remove it from your headspace be present and proud of yourself; you truly deserve this time to recuperate. We work very hard mothering and caring of our children and families. If we see another mother doing something we wished we were? Let’s nod our head in love for her and think she truly deserves this time and I am going to do the same for myself.
Health and Happiness always,
MORE on MUM GUILT in the new book