Mothers Guilt - The Confidence Clinic

Mothers Guilt

In my experience, all Mothers know immediately what the term ‘Mothers Guilt’ means when they first hear it.

I think once we become parents, particularly mothers, we start down the road of heavy duty guilt. From when your child is a new born, to starting school, dealing with an illness or playground problems – it is so easy to blame ourselves and feel guilty. I question myself regularly, am I doing the right thing? Have I been doing or not doing something up to now that’s led to this problem? I don’t think there is any easy answer or solution, being a mother is tough, full stop. However I have learned to trust myself and do what I feel is right at the time. Guilt is a total waste of our energy and time. It gets us nowhere. It is a bad habit that we need to work on breaking!

Mothers guilt is most common when we discuss working – I personally have struggled for years about what is the best thing to do – work or stay at home? Full time? Part time? Self employed? balance is what I need and what I want but I never seem to get it.

If you are going for an interview or a promotion that doesn’t feel right or fills you with dread then you are wasting your time! Some of you may be saying ‘that’s all well and good but my financial situation doesn’t allow me to pick and choose’. . I’m all for being creative and researching our options. You have to search and find solutions that fit your needs at this moment in time. I say ‘at this moment in time’ because life changes so much, our circumstances change, our children grow and nothing stays the same for long. All any of us can do is listen to our gut instinct and trust that we are making the best decision with the knowledge and facts that we have at that moment.

Going to work, is easier than staying at home for me. In recent months, I went back to work part time for few months, (other than my coaching work), I surprised myself how much I enjoyed it and needed the mental stimulation, other than the financial rewards, I was so happy to get a break from the house and the children. As much as we love our children, there is no denying they can try your patience and I think getting some space away from the house and children can give you a new perspective and make you appreciate the time you have with them. On the other hand, it is great to be able to collect your kids from school and help them with their homework, have their friends over etc. I am back working at home again now, and the rewards are great but very different. Working full time has rewards and benefits and staying at home has too. Whatever you decide to do, once it feels right for you then it is the right thing to do. We need to stop beating ourselves up. On the other hand, I strongly believe that we should never be afraid to change our situation to make things work. In Spain, it is the law the employer must allow mothers the option of reducing their salary to 80% and working 80% less hours every day so that they can spend time with their children. I think the employers in Ireland are missing a trick, there are so many intelligent, well educated mothers who would love to work part time, but there is very little opportunity for them to do so. Why does it have to be all or nothing, a job share is an eloquent solution. I know some mothers go back to study a whole new career in order to find work life balance. This is not for everyone, if you love what you do and are happy at work then that is fantastic.
You are your child’s most important role model so whatever you do, be as happy as you can be. This is so important; guilt will suck the goodness out of any situation if you allow it to. It is a total waste of time and energy. When making decisions do not to allow guilt to dictate, don’t put yourself under pressure, or accept any pressure from others about your situation. What works for one person or family, won’t always work for another. We each need to find our way, the best way possible, to do all the jobs that we need to do and sleep easily at night. We need to let go of some of the things that we simply cannot do right now… but don’t worry, if there is one thing we can rely on it is that things will change as they always do.

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