As a mum with a young child I feel guilty about everything that is remotely selfish.
Before having my son, I had a fairly busy social life, and went out for dinner and drinks with the girls, and date nights with hubby etc…on a regular basis. Now my social life is as dry as a bone, why? Simply because when I even think I’d like to do something for myself I feel guilty, so drinks with my bezzies have been rare.
I feel guilty about absolutely everything. I’m a full-time working mum and so when I leave for work in the morning and my son is clinging onto me crying, I struggle but force myself out the door. If his not woken before I leave, again I feel guilty because I can’t tell him bye, and give him a kiss before I rush out the door.
Regardless of if you’re a working parent or not, guilt always finds a way to present its ugly head one way or another. Even when I was on maternity, I felt guilty if I spent a night away, or arranged a date with my girls.
I think I take being a “present parent” way too seriously, and need to work on my resilience in taking time for myself to recoup from a busy working and home life.
On the rare “night off” my mind is always on my baby boy; I find it hard to switch off from mummy mode and just let my hair down. I honestly don’t know how to approach this; I have recently made a bigger effort to have time with my friends and go for drinks or a meal after work. Sometimes I think I’m getting there, but then the guilt kicks in when I realise that I haven’t even had a second with my son. I wonder what he learnt that day, did he eat well (he is the fussiest eater ever!), and has he noticed I’ve been gone all day?
When I think back to my maternity leave (I took the whole 52 weeks), I had so much quality time with my son, and now its grabbing half an hour in the morning, and a couple of hours after work. Of course, we have full weekends together, but I just feel like I’m missing out on him and that i’m a “part-time mum”. For example, he might have learnt a new word or short phrase and suddenly he just comes out with It. I feel excited that his learning so much so quickly, but then I know I missed that moment and feel guilty it wasn’t me that taught him something new.
I know I sound obsessive, and to be completely honest I am absolutely obsessed with my son. He is the love of my life and my number one priority, but I know I need to learn to relax and do stuff for myself to help keep my sanity.
I find myself wondering if other mums feel the way I do, or if dads feel any guilt for a night off from their young child. I feel like I should be over this by now that my son is approaching two.
I really need some advice and views from other parents about how to deal with my guilt and better yet get over it. So, I ask, do you get “mummy” guilt? if so, how do you deal with it, or get over that feeling?
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