#mamatomama: Mama Guilt

#mamatomama: Mama Guilt

'A note from one mama to another’ #mamatomama

We think that everyone's motherhood journey should involve ‘shoulder taps’ from one mama letting another mama know what they are going through is normal and they are doing a great job.

That’s why we created #mamatomama: to call on our everyday heroes (mamas), some far along the journey, some who have just started and some in-between to share their challenges and victories, their stories, and their wisdom. Let's celebrate the raw, the real and the wonderful parts of motherhood together.

"Mama Guilt" by Jess

Mama guilt. That thing that sometimes hits you like a tonne of bricks, just when you thought you were getting the hang of managing it. But why?! Is it the pressures from society? Family and friends? Or from seeing how other mothers are? Maybe it’s the “expectations” from social media of what mothers should be like. Or maybe it’s just the expectations I have of myself?

After nearly 6 years of trying to deal with itI’ve come to realise, it may never go away. Those feelings of: was I present enough today? Did I interact with them enough today? Did I feed them the right kind of food? Did they have too much screen time? Have I been working too much? Why am I craving alone time?! Will their memories from childhood be of me sitting in front of my computer? 

I’ve come to realise, these thoughts that creep up on us mamas all day long, the ones that make you doubt yourself as a parent… actually mean you’re doing an amazing job! They’re an indication that you CARE, that you love your little ones deeply and that you want nothing but for them to turn into good little humans! With all this being said, it doesn’t mean we should let guilt weigh us down, but rather not be so hard on ourselves for feeling it. 

I’m definitely no expert but here are some ways I keep my mama guilt in check:

  1. Have flexible expectations: Kids are unpredictable and life doesn’t always go to plan once little ones come along. We’re bound to have bad days, great days, overwhelming days, normal days, crazy days, days where we feel like we’ve nailed it and days where we feel like we’ve failed! It’s all part of the journey. Choosing to have flexible expectations about the way things should go and going with the flow, can help keep that guilt at bay. Right now in our house we’re focusing on finding the balance between engaging and doing all the fun stuff, but also teaching them important life lessons like ‘parents have responsibilities that need time and attention too’.
  2. Don’t compare (it doesn’t help): It’s especially easy to look at other mothers on social media and feel pressure to be a certain way for your kids. Social media can be beautiful and inspiring but depressing and discouraging all at once. Often we are uplifted by wonderful accounts but sometimes seeing constant “highlights” can make us feel inadequate and even question our own self-worth. I’ve begun to learn that comparison won’t change my circumstances or the way I deal with my own feelings of guilt. It’s about making the choice not to compare in the first place and let other people’s moments have an effect on your journey. You may not be society’s” perfect mother, but you are perfect for your kids!
  3. Schedule in “me” time: Overworking, over-scheduling, overdoing - I think deep down we all grapple with the thought that the more we do, the better we’ll feel about ourselves as mothers. But in reality it can just lead to burnout and feeling exhausted. Maybe the thought of scheduling alone time makes you feel guilty, but if you can come to realise it’s essential for processing your emotions, reconnecting with who you are and ultimately feeling like a better mother, wife and business woman, the quicker you can shut that guilt down.

I love this quote from Jill Churchill - “There is no way to be a perfect mother, but a million ways to be a great one.” Hopefully it gives you something to hold on to the next time you’re hard on yourself or feel like you’re failing. And always remember, your kids love YOU! 

Jess x