Motherhood is AMAZING, exhausting, hugely fulfilling and by far the greatest responsibility and gift we're given... In saying this, many of us give our entire being to these little humans, AND then when not with them, or thinking of them, every other second of the day, we are riddled with guilt.
Mummy guilt has been defined as:
‘The sense that you’re not living up to the expectations you had about the kind of mum you’d be. Or the kind of mum tat society suggested you should be.’
Although guilt about going to work may seem to be the most popular type of mummy-guilt there is, don’t be fooled; mothers are magnificent multi-taskers and the list of things we can feel guilty about can be endless.
I think for many of us we go into motherhood feeling relatively prepared but actually having no cooking-clue what to expect or what motherhood will be like. But like with all habits, once home we quickly establish a NEW NORMAL.
Whilst you feel like you’re doing motherhood on your terms, you’re most likely not. Especially in this day and age when there are a million voices and a million mums influencing our definition of who we are AND who we need to be for our kids. Gracious that sounds crazy just saying that out loud, but true non-the-less.
Mummy Guilt creeps in the wee hours of night 1 as mum, when you’re too filled with hormones, love and exhaustion to challenge it. It usually raises its head, as we question for the umpteenth time whether our little is still breathing, or getting enough milk, or going to be okay if we have a 1minute shower. It is 100% birthed from love so so deep BUT too from a fear that we will horribly fail at the one thing that has changed us to our deepest core.
We don’t yet have a solid idea of we, as a good mom will look like. We allow social media/friends/our own doubt to define that and then we compare against that. BUT that standard may not be in line with your make up.
In 2018, after being riddled with guilt for years, I asked myself the simple question. What is a good mum in my home..what does me as a good mum look like? The words that came were simple and life-giving. Stable and happy = THAT’S IT!! That was all that actually needed to be in place and if I were those two things, well then I could figure out how to burp, love and protect my little bunch. Your expectation of yourself should never be higher than what is truly attainable and functional for you and your family.
BUT in order to stop comparing (stop feeling guilty) and gain confidence as YOU we need to KNOW OURSELVES…WELL!!! You need to prioritize yourself and give ourself permission to be truly YOU – THAT, right there, the greatest gift you can give those kids. Because the truth is, that you’re the finest mum they could possibly get and you have it in you to figure it all out: their needs, your schedule and all of your happiness levels. But on YOUR TERMS, not some other mums.
We don’t get to hit pause on who we were created to be. Pre-mom, post-mom – you’re the same person and you supposed to be that!!! We can mesh pre-mom with post-mom and in turn live happier lives as moms, but it all starts with tuning in to YOU.
Mummy Guilt doesn’t disappear but by knowing ourselves well, and living on our own terms, we are more fulfilled and how much more at ease our kids are when we, as mums, are in a good space.
Caitlyn has a new Guilt-free Mums course starting now on April 13th - and she has given all Mrs Milk Moms R100 Discount Click here to sign up and use the code MRSMILK to get your discount! CLICK HERE
Caitlyn is a life coach, motivational speaker, podcast host and psychology lecturer and she is based in Hillcrest (Durban), KZN. With her honours degree in Clinical Psychology & being a sought-after Speaker, Caitlyn speaks at companies, conferences and womens’ events around South Africa.
As a Life Coach, Caitlyn has had the privilege of coaching more than 400 amazing individuals, from over 11 countries worldwide.
When she’s not inspiring individuals to live full & inspirational lives, you can find her on a long run, drinking wine with her husband, playing with her 2 young kids or at her beach house on the coast, where she finds her inspiration!