Hey Mama, let’s talk about Motherhood ‘guilt’. You know that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach that you are not enough, that you are juggling too much and you are feeling like you are failing everyone.
Motherhood guilt unfortunately is a feeling that comes along with the job description, it is a feeling that you will feel off and on along the journey.
The feeling often raises its ugly head when your expectations of what you thought you would be like as a mother are different to how you see yourself as a mother. That feelings of ‘Am I messing up my kids’? ‘Am I failing them’?
Sometimes it’s actually other feelings masquerading as guilt. This can sometimes happen when the ‘guilt’ follows a loss. For example, your birth wasn’t the one you wanted, or you can’t breastfeed, or have to stop before you wanted to. These losses can create enormous grief and regret, but these feelings might feel a bit like guilt and get lost in it.
Motherhood is amazing and it’s also tough. It’s a huge juggle and when there are too many balls in the air or you are not managing to juggle every ball as well as you would like, or the balls start to drop to the floor motherhood guilt creeps in.
Guilt can be experienced for a huge number of reasons:
- You don’t like every aspect of pregnancy
- You didn’t have the birth you wanted
- You couldn’t breastfeed
- You return to work
- The load of juggling work and family is too big
- You lost your temper with the kids
- You forget it is dress up day at kinder
- The house jobs are piling up
- You snapped at your husband because you are tired and sleep deprived
- You can’t keep the house as you would like and you are struggling to make healthy dinners
- You yelled at the kids because they wouldn’t stay in their beds
- You haven’t had time to play or you don’t feel like playing
- You can’t get to that class just for you
- Feeling like you are not meeting society's expectations of what a mother should be like or living up to your own expectations
- You want time away from your baby
- You feel bad for giving your kids too much screen time to get your work done.
Returning to work or being a working Mama comes with a big pill of guilt. The guilt that you are not staying home with the kids or that someone else is looking after them and you are not. That you had to miss helping in the classroom as you had a meeting. Then there is the reverse feeling that you are not getting enough work done or managing the juggle well enough, that you are failing work. Or that you are back at work but not feeling like your job is fulfilling enough to spend time away from the kids. Or society's expectations of what a ‘mother’ should be doing.
Stay at home Mamas have the guilts too, too busy running the house and doing chores to have quality time with the kids. The feeling of "Is my sacrifice meaning I won’t have a car