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Mum guilt and steps to keep it at bay

We know motherhood is a journey filled with joy, love, and fulfillment, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges and can be seriously overwhelming at times. One of the most significant challenges that mothers face is mum guilt, so common among mothers that it has been coined as a term on its own. Mum guilt refers to the sense of self-doubt, inadequacy, and anxiety that mothers experience, often resulting from the pressure to be the perfect parent.

Mum guilt can lead mothers to sacrifice their own needs and well-being, which can have negative consequences for both the mother and child. When mothers neglect their own needs, they may become exhausted, resentful, and emotionally drained, making it harder to be the kind of parent they want to be. But don't use that as a stick to beat yourself with! Recognise the pattern and think about what you want to be different.

It's crucial to remember that taking care of ourselves is not a selfish act, but rather an act of self-preservation. Mothers who prioritise their own well-being are better equipped to be present and engaged parents, which benefits both themselves and their child. Easier said than done, I know! If you can get into the habit of considering yourself in the equation, then even if you keep slipping to the bottom of the pile, you'll up the chances of us making some time for yourself. It's ok to start small. Remember that taking care of yourself is a crucial part of being a good mum, and you deserve to prioritise your own needs as well - would you expect anyone else to never have their needs considered?!

The truth is that motherhood is not easy, and every mother has her own way of raising her child. However, it's natural to compare ourselves to others, especially when we see perfect images of motherhood portrayed in the media. This comparison often leads to feelings of guilt and self-criticism, leaving mothers feeling like they are not doing enough for their children.

Add in to that the pressures of work and other factors and you can really land in a pickle!

Here are some tips on how to keep the mum guilt at bay:

  1. Be kind to yourself

The first step to overcoming mum guilt is to be kind to yourself. Acknowledge that you are doing the best you can with the resources you have. Remember that motherhood is a learning process, and mistakes are a part of that process.

  1. Don't compare yourself to others

As mentioned earlier, comparison is one of the biggest triggers of mum guilt. Remember that every mum has her own way of raising her child, and what works for one may not work for another. Instead of comparing yourself to others, focus on what works for you and your child.

  1. Prioritise self-care

Self-care is essential for mental and emotional well-being and taking care of yourself can help you be a better mother. However, linked to the above, don't compare to other mums, really think about what it is that will fill your bucket. Make time for yourself to do things that you enjoy and energise you, whether it's reading a book, going for a walk, or getting coffee with a friend.

  1. Let go of perfection

Perfection is an unattainable goal, and striving for it only leads to disappointment and frustration. Instead of trying to be the perfect mother, focus on being a good mother. Remember that it's okay to make mistakes and that you don't have to have all the answers.

  1. Surround yourself with support

Having a support system is essential for any mother. Surround yourself with people who understand what you are going through and can offer support when you need it. Whether it's your partner, friends, or family, having a support system can make all the difference.

While mum guilt is a common feeling that many mothers experience, by following these tips, you can keep the feeling at bay and enjoy the journey of motherhood. Remember that you are doing the best you can, and that counts for a lot.

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