Motherhood guilt starts pretty much as soon as you pee on a stick and that line turns blue. Even before that little person (or two in my case) enters your life. The thoughts begin…”I shouldn’t have had that glass of wine yesterday“, and “I hope I didn’t overdo it at the gym“.
As magical as pregnancy is, it also made me feel vulnerable, scared, worried and (mostly) guilty about my decisions – even though I gave up anything and everything that I was supposed to, and followed all the advice to the letter.
And I can tell you, that even now that my twins are 3 years old, the guilt doesn’t wane.
The current Motherhood guilts that I get? Currently (as a part-time working at home Mum) it is the following:
a) Do I spend enough time with my twins? Is it quality time? Do I play with them enough?
b) When they are at preschool and I really enjoy the quiet time – should I feel this happy? Is it wrong not to miss them more?
c) Am I on my phone too much?
d) Do they watch too much TV?
If I really think hard about it however, I KNOW that I am a great Mum. I am. I always put them first, I dote on them, I love them so much. I do spend a lot of time playing with them and developing them. We also go out together a lot. And I know deep down that I have nothing to worry about.
But I do still have these thoughts. They often play on my mind.
And I am not alone. My friends all have their own guilts. Some of my working friends feel guilty about leaving their children with someone else. They tell me how hard this is. I know, (for some, not all) that this is pretty tough for them.
But we shouldn’t feel like this though should we?
Why do we beat ourselves up?
We are GREAT Mothers. All doing a superb job. Yes okay some days we fail – massively. We are too tired to paint or draw and instead use TV to entertain them. Other days we shout (a lot). Other days we work too hard. But mostly we get it right.
For we love them, dearly. They are always, always on our mind. They are our entire world. We would give our life for theirs. They are our everything.
And then there are the days that we spend hours in the park, pushing their swing back and forth. The days where we bake with them. Make cards. Do playdoh. Read lots of books. Go out all day and experience something new together. Go to soft play and climb over all the equipment – just because they love to do it. Sure, we might not have enough of these days, but we do have them. And we try our very best.
There are enough challenges and trials in life – enough thrown at us; beating ourselves up about our role as a Mother shouldn’t be one of them.
I get things wrong. I do. I am still learning on the job; I wish there were more hours in the day. But mostly I get a lot right. Because I am such a good Mother – my twins adore me.
And these guilty feelings? Well it’s probably just because we care so damn much, isn’t it?
Next time that this thing called ‘Motherhood guilt’ tries to grip a hold of me and get inside my head, I am going to try so hard to shake it off and ignore it. As hard as it might be.