It is common for us to feel, that mum’s have everything under control. However, “mum’s guilt” is a real thing and there is nothing to be ashamed of it. If you don’t have everything figured out, from the right amount of love, attention and education for your children, to the potentially extra housework, cooking and general life administration, it is important to know that you’re not alone and it is okay.
Simply put, Mum’s guilt is the persistent feeling of not doing enough as a parent, not doing things right, or making decisions that may “mess up” your kids in the long run.
One of the main aspects of mum’s guilt comes from society due the million different contradictions thrown at us by society and other professionals, which can create feelings of inadequacy. This could range from – Limiting screen time, but showing educational apps, letting the kids go outdoors daily, but also have a clean house and prepare dinner each night. The advice can often get confusing, leaving mums unclear about prioritizing.
Every mum is doing her best to make it through the day and juggle a million tasks, so we have tried to make this quarantine period a little bit easier for you by sharing some tips and tricks to handle the “Mum’s Guilt” and be the best you can be, in every aspect of your life.
- Compartmentalise your time: Try to make a plan the night before about when you will work and when you will play with or educate your child. It helps to have a rough plan in your head, or even written on paper, so that you have some guidance during the day.
- Prepare your child: Communicate your expectations with the child. Explain to them that you may need to work from home or do the washing up or even cook. And that during these times, they need to be able to entertain themselves and keep busy.
- Involve them in tasks: If you have set aside time to cook, try involving them in the cooking. This could be as simple as washing vegetables or stirring the pot. Of course, try and make it age appropriate and be extra careful as there are many hazard and sharp objects in the kitchen that younger children may not be aware of.
- Ask for help: and don’t be afraid to ask for it. This can be in the form of having your husband play with them for an hour after they finish work, or maybe asking your own parents to talk to them or read them a story over Zoom/BOTIM. If the help gets you some time to get on with what needs to be done – then ask for it.
- Ignore everybody else: Some mums appear to have it all together and are constantly sharing new crafts and activities they have done with their children on social media while you may be the mum who has struggled to do even one successful activity this week. That is OK! Do what is in your power and ability and ignore the so called #momgoals that you see on social media.
- You don’t have to be Superwoman: It is normal and an expected reality to have both good and bad days. When kids grow up, they dont remember a perfect mum, they remember a happy and present mum!
- Cry it out: It’s okay to cry ever so often when all the daily tasks and emotions become too overwhelming. Some studies say that it releases any stress and anxiety you may have about being perfect at everything.
- Make it quality time: If you are trying to juggle a multitude of things, including online distance learning (which is a new challenge in itself), then try set aside time for doing something fun together. This could be baking a cake together, trying a new recipe, or introducing them to different genres of music and having a dance off in the living room. Make quality time something that you enjoy as well!
- Take time for yourself: Being a good mum also means being a relaxed mum. Sometimes you need to just take a long bath or read a book alone, in order to have the inner strength to be better. Mums have a talent for being kind and nurturing to others but always tough on themselves. Let’s change that and indulge in a bit of self-care.
It’s okay to not make fresh meatballs daily or have a new craft to do each day. It’s okay if the learning for the day doesn’t work out, if the television takes over, and the dinner comes from a box.
Whatever you are offering your child right now is enough. Whatever the plan is for today, it’s enough. Whatever the plan is for tomorrow, it’s enough.