Mummy Guilt

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.

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DS at the park without moi

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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3 Thoughts

  1. Self care is crucial part of patenting, without self care how would you feel in your mental health? Is it realistic that you can be there for every single moment? To avoid feeling overwhelmed and stressed and to be able to give your all and have quality time over quantity of time. Taking some time for self care is so important whether it is 10 minutes or and whole evening or more away. Setting strict rules such as “I
    Must be with my child every spare minute I have, otherwise I’m a bad mother / parent” will make you feel guilty every time you spend a minute away. Instead try to think “having some time for me is important for my mental health, the better I feel in my mood the more effective I can be as a parent and the more I can enjoy being with my child when we get that quality time together”.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think lots of mums feel this way especially working mums. I work from home so I am around a lot, but I still feel guilty as it seems I am always trying to sneak off to do something on my laptop or responding to emails on my phone instead of being fully engaged with whatever game we are playing. We all need to give ourselves a break. It is tough, but we all need to remember we are enough.

    Liked by 1 person

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