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SLP 68: Self Love Quicky – Mother Guilt
23, Apr, 2021
I have been pondering the meaning behind ‘mother guilt’ for some time wonder what it could really be about deep down. I mean, why do we call it mother guilt? And is it really even valid? What should we do about it and how do we drop it so we can get on with being a mum? In this week’s self-love quicky we open up the topic and dive deep into the layers that hold us back and stop us from being the best mum’s we can be.
I think for me if I’m honest mother guilt was more about me questioning myself, sometimes it was a little FOMO and at times I think it was more ego. I love being a mum, I loved it when my kids were little and needed me and I would not have swapped it for the world. I don’t think any Mumma would.
But let’s be honest the role of motherhood is also exhausting, often it’s thankless and, like most mums the guilt came when I questioned everything I was doing or not doing for my children, from what was right to read or watch on TV, to how I disciplined them to what I fed them to how I showed up for them.
They say you teach what you need to learn the most. I created work that I love, and I am honoured to teach women how to care for themselves and love themselves no matter how busy life gets. I discuss how to drop things like mother guilt and self-sabotage, how to value your role as a mum and prioritize self-care all whilst being the best you can be!! I loved my work, and I loved that it took me away at times. I still do.
But then there were times when I was away and I was not with the family and then I would find myself questioning what I was doing. I would think of my babes, or who was looking after them (often it was either my hubby, my mum or family) and then I missed them hugely wishing I could be there too, especially if they were sick or crying for me. It was heart-wrenching.
I always knew deep down though, that it was a good thing for my family (and for me) to know we could get through anything with and without me being present and vice versa.
Yes it was a juggle at times, and yes it was exhausting, but I wanted my babes to grow up knowing what independence and taking care of themselves looked like too. I was learning it all myself as I went through each experience and emotion. I also knew if I was educating women on this publicly I had to be the example not only to them but also in my own family. I had to walk my talk.
That’s why I’m grateful I created daily rituals where my own self-care was a priority. Often that meant it included the kids like bath time or walks in nature, after all the most satisfying thing to do was to connect within and what better way than to the Mother of all mothers… Mother Nature! I had to make all of my rituals a part of all our lives for me to experience them.
That’s why I love being an aromatherapist, that I would often use oils to support how we each felt and we used them to care for one another. I named us the awesome foursome! I always told my wee family that we were a team and if sometimes one member needed more care or help than another, including mummy, we would all step up.
Women at workshops taught me so much also. Teaching the art of self-love cemented for me that investing in my own personal development and writing books on topics like this gave me way more insight and clarity and less judgement for myself and of other amazing mums.
I’m so grateful I have had many opportunities to look at this the whole way through raising my children. I wanted to be with them all the time and yet loved not being with them all of the time too! It made me aware that any ‘guilt’ I felt was more about me questioning myself. Wondering if I got it right or wrong, that’s all. And the guilt only came if I felt it was wrong.
Motherhood is incredibly challenging and yet it is so deeply rewarding. Yes, the ‘guilt’ rears its head at times, it still does and my babes are adults now. But like I said it is often because I am simply just questioning myself.
There were times I just wished I could split myself into one or two or even three and be all things to everyone, at all times! Maybe that was a little more about FOMO and ego than guilt per se.
Either way my findings around ‘mother guilt’ is to let it go. It does us no good and if only mums could lighten up a little, forgive themselves more, be kinder to themselves and understand that the guilt only arises out of self-doubt, questioning or wondering if what you’re doing is wrong.
If only mums could realize the enormous impact of consistent daily micro-moments of time-out and self-care and how much that affects the family. After all, if the woman of the house is happy and healthy life runs smoothly for everyone else! And that means there is no room for any guilt whatsoever!
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