LIFE & BABY

How to NOT feel Mommy-GUILT!

I remember taking my first proper shower as a new mom (if you’re a Mama you will understand what I mean).

So there I was, for the first time actually washing my hair, enjoying the warm water over my body. Just a few minutes of bliss – after constant breastfeeding, burping and diaper changes… still recovering from a caesarean, a little bit high on painkillers, leaking breasts and all of that fun stuff.

And you know what happened? I felt GUILTY! Instead of enjoying my moment of (well-deserving) peace, I stood there and was thinking I should be with baby. This showering thing is taking way too long!

Crazy? Yes, but unfortunately oh-so-true. Then I was thinking okay it’s just a hormone thing, everything will get back to normal (just like my flabby tummy) and soon I will be able to shower without feeling guilty.

Mmm… guess what! Didn’t happen! Now, 20 months down the line I’m still dealing with THE GUILT every single second.

Off to work = guilt! Going for a quick run = guilt! Soaking in a bath = guilt! Getting your nails done = more guilt! Going out with the girls = indescribable guilt. Being too tired (really too tired)!!! Leading to the“not tonight, I’ve got a headache hubby…” = guilt, guilt, guilt!

What is up with that?

Why do our Mama’s constantly feel GUILTY, DESPITE trying our damn hardest to be the best and do the best for our lovely bundle of joy?

No one will tell you this. So let me the bearer of this fabulous news: As soon as you’re a Mom you can say hello to your new other half: GUILT. You two are gonna live happily ever after.

According to a Lot of Moms here’s the Top 10 Things Mothers Feel Guilty About

1. Not playing with our children enough
2. Letting them watch too much TV
3. Not spending enough quality time together
4. Losing tempers, snapping, shouting and being too hard on them
5. Always saying ‘in a minute’ because we’re trying to do other things
6. Leaving them to go to work and then (secretly) enjoying work
7. Not being patient enough
8. Splitting time fairly amongst siblings
9. Not feeling guilty when we leave them
10. Not teaching them more

Sounds familiar?

Number 6 – you’re off to work, seeing that sad face and a small hand waving goodbye, you hate yourself for a minute, feeling extreme GUILT, but you have to go to work. Yeah, you have to go to work and if you have a choice you would stay home full-time, but you’re secretly so glad to get “a break,” answer some emails and drink (warm) coffee and did I mention adult conversation = GUILT!

Number 2 – Okay this one I plead guilty! I mean while we’re building a puzzle I’m watching 7de Laan because I just have to know if Vanessa is gonna find out that her husband is sleeping with her sister-in-law? Is it just me? And I know screen time is bad, all the experts agree, but what do you do when there’s a new season of The Bachelor?

Number 1 – Not playing enough? Seriously? Children play all the time! You don’t have to entertain them, but again there is your old buddy GUILT and in the evening I’m like okay, today we were swinging twice, playing in the sandput and dancing on Carike and Ghoempie songs 6 times – so I was a pretty good Mom? Not to mention I bought a trolley of groceries, painted the spare room, wash the dishes (put it in the dishwasher), answered 20 emails, called the insurance and did a quick tour of the garden. Multi-tasking anyone?

The problem with multi-tasking – it’s great but it’s exhausting.

The other night my husband said something to me that stuck:

Just stop worrying for one day.

He could have said stop feeling GUILTY for one day. Try it, he said, just for one day!

You are good enough.
Just being you.
Just loving that little bundle so much that your heart hurts.

That makes you a good, no a great mom! Look, he said, look how happy she is (and I actually stopped scrolling through Facebook, while answering Whatsapp’s, watching Binnelanders with one eye and thinking about what to wear tomorrowI just STOPPED MULTI-TASKING AND LOOKED

and you know what I saw?

a Happy little girl, running and dancing, I SAW THE WAY HER face LIT up when she sees ME.

I REALISED:

I am good enough – just the way I am.

That means me (and you) can STOP fretting about leaving baby to go to work, not playing enough, exposing baby to 7de Laan, taking some me time because you know whatyou’re always gonna feel guilty and even when you’re not feeling guilty you’re feeling guilty because you are NOT FEELING GUILTY. How bizarre is that?

Let’s change that. I know I’m preaching to the choir (And myself) but why the hell do we do this to ourselves?

The answer: LOVE. Unconditional Love.

Because of that love we want to be the best, do the best for our babies (even when they are 32) and supposed to be all grown-up (that’s what my Mama told me the other day). And she is 60! That’s a long time to live with GUILT – I’m not great at maths but that’s like 30 years of guilt?

No way! Lets Break the guilt cycle – let’ s start a new generation of guilt-free Mamas – loving their kids to bits but without the constant guilt.

Because unless you’re some kind of psycho, you’re a good Mom!

Take that, believe it and live a guilt-free life.

HOW?

Stop multi-tasking all the time – live in the moment. If you are playing with baby, just play! You can answer that e-mail a little bit later… If you work, work hard because you’re still you and well you need the money.

Live in the now. Focus on the now.

And if you feel that pang of guilt just know that it’s okay… It’s okay to feel guilty because LOVE is the reason for that GUILT.

But it’s also okay to sometimes take a break (thanks hubby), stop trying so damn hard, just chill and not worry about what you think you should be doing.

Because you know what’s the best part?

Just being you is enough. It’s enough for baby. It’s enough for hubby.

It should be enough for you?

Stay Stylish (and say goodbye to the GUILT)!

XOXO

Helene

 

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Comments (3)

  1. Helena Beck :

    I loved reading your post. I have a 14 month old Daughter and I can relate to every single word! I constantly feel guilty about everything. If I don’t give her enough attention while I’m cooking, if we don’t bath together, if I’m not the one feeding her, if I’m not the one putting her to bed and if I’m not the last face she sees before she falls asleep. But now I have something new to feel guilty about. My Husband wants to take me on our first date night since she was born. For the life of me I cannot understand why he would want to do anything without her. He said I don’t have a choice, but I just feel like crying. I already feel guilty when I drop her off in the morning… how will I feel on Friday when I miss out on our entire evening routine. Am I crazy? I don’t want to spend one minute without her.

  2. Helene Olivier :

    Hi Helena,

    Thank you so much for reading! I’m so happy to hear from readers and I can totally relate to what you are going through. The Guilt-thing is a constant thing in my life, since my daughter was born. And if it’s any consolation I think a lot of mamas feel that way. So no, you are definitely not crazy! 🙂 But I also know that it’s not healthy to feel guilty all the time and as I said in the post, it sounds like you are a great Mom and that’s all your babygirl needs. If you’re going to miss one evening routine or one bath it’s not the end of the world. She will survive! And I know it’s hard but your husband also needs attention! (we are suppose to keep everyone happy and that’s exhausting)! You must read one of my previous blogs How to NOT lose your husband after kids… there’s some tips and facts that will help you with the GUILT!

    Let me know what you think… And if I can be so forward to give you some advice… Put on your prettiest dress on Friday Night and ENJOY the night off with your hubby. Baby will be fine and you will love her even more when you get back from your date night.

    Hope this helps!

    And let me know how the date night went!

    XOXO
    Helene

  3. Hankie :

    Ja Heleen mens kan vry kom van skuldig voel. As ek terug dink aan my ouers het hulle nooit so iets geken nie. Hulle of ons was heel dag om of by hulle. Dis al wat nodig was. Die wete hulle is in die nabyheid as onsekerheid te naby gekom het. Met my eie kinders het ek gevoel elke kind het ‘n keuse hoe groot en oud. Sien ek ook ons kleinkind wil net naby wees. Ouma bou dan bou ouma aanmekaar blokkies en as ek weer sien is sy verdiep in die dominos. Hekel ek wil sy ook. Tel haar langs my op die bank. Wys hoe hekel ouma. Gee vir haar ‘n groot hekelpen en bol wol. Sy hekel en voor ek my kan kry is sy besig om Prima se stert te trek of lig sy snor om tandinspeksie te doen. Jys reg – skud die skuldgevoel af en wees naby. Van ouma en dankie vir die lekker lag.

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