Amber is a member of the Kensington Mums community, and a mother of three. We previously organised a workshop with her giving advice to mothers on “The Secret of Letting Go of Guilt“. She also helps mums build a business and life they deserve. She is now also authored an Amazon bestseller called, Guilt Free Motherhood.
These days, it seems no matter what we do as women, mothers, daughters, wives, friends, and all the other hats we wear, we wind up feeling guilty about something. Guilt is almost like a cross to bear that everyone must take up at some point.
We should squash mummy guilt with a giant lead foot. We should lock mummy guilt up in a box and bury it in the back garden. Let’s start now.
Here are 4 of my favourite top tips for giving up the mummy guilt, for Kensington Mum readers:
1. There’s No Such Thing as a ‘Perfect Parent’ or a ‘Super-Mum’
No one can do it all. There is no one woman in the universe who has declared that she has mastered motherhood, career, fitness levels and a sparkly clean house simultaneously. And if there were, you probably wouldn’t want to be her because she’d be a haggard, sleepless zombie. Remember, even superheroes have side kicks and for good reason too.
Someone from somewhere polluted our brains with the idea that we should achieve completeness and flawlessness as mothers. We set the bar so high, we are forever falling short of reaching our goals. I cannot imagine a pressure any more intense.
So, my fellow mums listen when I say: lower your bar to ‘good enough’. You do not have to be a perfect parent to be a great parent.
Let’s give up our indefinite pursuit to be the perfect mother who does everything right and allow ourselves the chance to actually enjoy the journey of motherhood and our sweet, sweet babies.
- Take a Tip from Dad
I watch my hubby get ready for his days working in the city. He doesn’t kiss our baby daughter’s head worriedly before he exits the front door, certain that his day away isn’t going to irreversibly alter the baby’s lifelong mental state. He doesn’t apologize to me for having to leave us to make money for our family. He doesn’t send me four texts throughout the day, wondering how we are making out without him. He just does his job thoroughly and enjoys us deeply when he gets home.
Men are immune from mummy guilt, it seems. It doesn’t make them less of a father. Lesson understood.
- Know Yourself
Nowadays, there are so many inputs from the world, thanks to internet, social media. This is good because it widens our perspective — but dangerous, too, because we could also drown out our internal voices, and our inner truths.
The important thing, then, is to know your strengths and weaknesses, and not be guilty if they are different from what the “world” says you should or should not be able to do. “To thine own self be true,” as Shakespeare says.
4. Schedule Some ME-Time Everyday
When we take time to explore our own passions, needs and desires, we become more present and patient when we are with our children. We must willingly take the opportunity to spend a few coveted hours each day to ourselves and not feel guilty about it.
Mummy guilt is a ridiculously unproductive, manipulative, and toxic emotion. We can all rest assured that our very best is always enough. Adjusting our mindset reminds us that we are all permitted to take a little bit of time to ourselves, away from our children. We can use tools like independent playtime and rest time to take a few moments at home each day.
I, myself even take complete “Amber Day’s”. Something I didn’t do with my first 2 and realised only 3rd time around how refreshing and re-energising it is to do so. It is an awesome de-stressor too. Way better alternative to being on anti-depressant pills. I encourage you all to schedule a full ‘ME DAY’ in your busy calendar now, even if you can only manage it once a month or once in 2 months. Schedule it or it may never happen.
I’m working up the courage to go away on a baby-free holiday. I know it will happen eventually. Until then, I’ve got my lock box and shovel, ready to bury my mummy guilt somewhere in the back garden of my west London home.