Oh Mum Guilt.
That ever-present companion that lives in so many of us as we navigate being a Mum at a time of intense Mothering.
With the amount of pressure and expectation to be the best in all the roles that we play, higher than ever. Whilst also doing so, in isolation, with little or no support. Whilst also neglecting our own needs, feeling like this is an unavoidable consequence of choosing to be a Mother.
Why do we feel so guilty?
All emotions are there to communicate something to us and guilt is no different.
Guilt is an emotion that communicates, ‘I have done something wrong’. Something out of alignment with our values. It is a message to reflect on our behaviour, to consider any learning and changes we want to make, to move closer to our values.
Sometimes it is there when we haven’t done anything wrong.
We feel guilty in Motherhood because we care about so deeply about doing a good job. We value our role as a Mother. We want to do it to the best of our ability, and if we feel we have in any way not matched up to this, we feel guilty.
That sense of a ‘good job’ is based on our unconscious and conscious expectations of what it means to be a ‘good Mother’. It is based on unrealistic expectations of how we should feel and be in this role that might not actually be inline with how you really want to do it, or how you really feel!
When we do not live up to these relentless standards, we feel guilty. We feel like we are the problem. That we are doing something wrong. That we are failing in some way. Never questioning why we feel guilty. Never questioning that the bar is set at an unachievable level.
In Motherhood, when we feel guilt, in the main, it isn’t you. It is the expectations that are wrong.
So, lovelies. Where are you putting unrealistic pressure on yourself? What actually matters to YOU about how you show up in this role, forgetting the societal expectations for a minute? What do you need to support yourself to live more in alignment with the version of Mum that you actually want to be?
And remember. We feel guilty because we care. Guilt is not going away my loves, because the fact you care is also not going away. However, what you can do is question it when it is not accurate. Be kind to yourself when you get it wrong. You are a flawed human being my friend. As am I. I promise you, there is true value is showing up as that for your children too.
All my love,