If you are a mother, and you, and like many woman, suffer from mothers guilt, read on, there is a way to end it.
Mothers guilt can occur in many different forms, whether you are at home with your children, or not. It may be that you have to work and hate not being around for them as babies, leaving them into a crèche, or it could be felt when you are not collecting your children from school or that you’re not there when they get home… whatever the case, anyone who feels this guilt, remember you are allowing yourself to feel guilty. It is your chosen response. We can reprogramme ourselves to think differently and enjoy the time we get away from them. We think that if we feel guilty we are punishing ourselves for being ‘bad’ mothers and not being there for our children.
The truth is you are away from them and they will not be damaged, hurt or screwed up because of this fact. It’s about having balance in your life.
A healthier way to break it down is to think in terms of facts. What are the facts involving you and your children? E.g. Are they being taken care of by a trustworthy responsible adult who will do their best for them? Are you away from them in order to have a better standard of living? Or perhaps because you simply can’t get by financially without working. I used to think that if I wasn’t around for my children they wouldn’t be able to function, they wouldn’t know what to do if they were hurt or upset. The truth (fact) is that they will turn to someone else. My children are toddlers now, they have to go to School when they are 4 or 5 years old – who will comfort them then? The teacher, hopefully. So, why not set them up to be sociable and learn how to interact, play and learn with others at a young age. The fact is I don’t have to be with them all the time, they are doing well and thriving without me being beside them 24/7.
There is another reason, other than financial constraints, that I have decided to work, it is to fulfill my potential in life and to be happy – or at least attempt to. Don’t get me wrong I am in a job that doesn’t suit me, and I don’t enjoy it, but I am working on that. I want my children to be happy, and for them to learn what happiness is, they need to see and experience it. Who better to teach them how to be happy than their Mother? If I have a full and rounded life, if I have some interests and hobbies, friends and work that I enjoy – this is the best way that I can teach my children how to be happy for themselves. They need to see that I am looking after them as best I can, but also not ignoring myself! My needs are important too.
If my life is out of balance and I don’t do anything for myself, or look after my needs, the chances are I will end up, bitter and twisted about the person that I used to be, or could have been. If the scales are weighed down by my role as a Mother, then it needs readjustment. It’s only when you get out there and start to enjoy life and do things for yourself that you realise how much happier you are, the knock on affect is that children have a much happier mother to take care of them and love them, when she is with them.