Nothing prepares you for this.
The G word is something I deal with a lot with my clients, listening to them download and explain where they are at and how they are feeling about something they believe they have done, said or forgotten in their daily life as a mum.
It’s so easy isn’t it? So much going on, so many different demands on your time, pulls on your string, expectations all around, it’s inevitable that something is going to give eventually.
The thing is I have come to realise over the last 11 years to accept that those guilty feelings will happen. They happen often when you least expect it, my morning was going well today until I allegedly SHOVED my son across the road on the way to school (I didn’t think I was that strong). I then had to consciously make sure we acknowledged the situation and parted in a positive way even though I was frustrated that the morning had literally unraveled AT THE LAST MINUTE!
I have to re-frame the guilt I experience as a mum otherwise it will drive me bonkers conkers, and the other day I had this epiphany (I am always having these but miraculously this time this one stayed in my head!)
I feel guilty as a mum BECAUSE I CARE.
I care that my children are well fed, clothed and nurtured. I care that they are listened to, understood and that they know they can be supported by me if they need it, and even if they don’t. I care that they have warmth, both in their home and from me and I care that they get to school on time with the right stuff to help them learn and progress in their lives. I also care that they have opportunities to get exercise, be sociable and be healthy, physically and mentally.
Wow, big list isn’t it!
And this list could probably be twice, three times as long if I sit down and really really think about all the things I care about and that I want my children to have, experience and remember.
So is it any wonder that there are times we feel that guilt, because there is something on this exhaustive list which we can’t provide for them, we forget to do or we are so absorbed by our own worries and frustrations that we are not paying attention to their needs?
And that’s the thing lovely mum, the guilt is triggered by the relentless pressure we all place on ourselves. We don’t let up for ONE MINUTE. We are overwhelmed with not only our own inner dialogue of how things are to be, but also others expectations including school, family members and friends to name a few.
Is it any wonder we feel guilty?
I am testing my metal this evening as I am actually doing the unthinkable.
I AM NOT GOING TO MY SONS CHRISTMAS CAROL CONCERT!
This was a hard one for me to admit to, I have actually chosen not to go (my husband did) but I have taken a step back from this particular event as I needed to take a breath.
I can absolutely guarantee that my youngest son is not going to be psychologically damaged by this, although I have been through every likely scenario in my head.
It is not that I am not feeding him, or caring for him, or loving him, it is just that I am not going to one school event he is involved in.
AND IT DOESN’T MAKE ME A BAD MUM!
This would have had a much more negative impact is if I listened to all the opinions, views and thoughts from others about why I chose not to go, feeling the need to justify myself and feeling guilty and frustrated in the process.
The funny thing is, he’s not bothered. And I knew he wouldn’t be.
So, what are you feeling guilty about which you shouldn’t be? What are you beating yourself over the head with the proverbial stick about right now? Remember that these feelings are because you care, but if they let you run away with you they will start to fill up your bucket of stress and make you more anxious, more overwhelmed, and more frustrated than you feel right now.
Please give yourself a break and choose one thing, just one thing that you are going to let up on yourself about, stop the pursuit of perfectionism and re-frame the guilt, it is because you care and no-one can take that away from you.
Love Clare x
How would it feel to really be able to share how you are feeling, in a safe space?
Come and find out more about ‘Calm Mums Community’. On my journey being a mum I have found that there just isn’t the people out there able and willing to offer this non-judgmental guidance without the ‘opinion’ clouding the support.
Because sometimes we just want someone to help us make sense of where we are at without criticism or drama.
I would absolutely love for you to join the honest support and help we are all giving each other, it is already making a difference for the mums in there.