A Thing or Two about ‘Mummy Guilt’

Do you suffer from this sometimes?

Another crazy morning, I think I actually woke 'out of sync' so it wasn't a very good start. 
We all have those days that we know are going to be uphill all the way... don't we? Well, I do. I know why I'm out of sync. I am tired. Simple. I'm burning the candle at both ends at the moment while trying to set up my business and be a stay at home momma. 
Alas, I completed the school run in not so bad time, considering my heel dragging this morning. I was just pulling out of the creche, I glanced into the yard to see if babygirl had taken to her car and was there waving goodbye and shouting 'see you later' to me, just as she did last week. But no. There she was walking around in the shady part of the play yard, in her yellow tutu, all on her own. Urgh! my heart hurt so bad. Driving on and willing myself to not look back, still the sad little image stuck in my head and heart, enough to plunge me further into mummy guilt. Of couse I know I will collect her later and she will have played and had fun, and come away smiling, but when you really need them to give you one of those little reassuring smiles they don't happen and OH THAT GUILT. 
It's a crazy balance when you have kids. Actually, is there a balance at all? Before kiddies, you work hard, play hard, get by, have clothes, you even have food, healthy or otherwise, doesn't matter so much because you still have a metabolism to kick evil's ass. The stork glides by with your precious bundles and boy a lot changes. 
The first thing I learned, that nobody really told me about, was that these little bundles come with their own life long supply of overwhelming guilt. Mummy guilt, is the worst, it's on a par with anxiety in my book. You work to provide for family, feel guilty, you stay at home with your family, feel guilty. Cannot win. At a certain point you just accept the guilt, and learn to live with it. It took me a hell of long time to figure that much out.
After 6 years of trying every work and 'being mammy' combo in the book, with the added ingredient of my post natal depression, I eventually had to pack in my job. Like many of us, I was merely paying for the luxury of having a job, but when my health intervened I was left with little choice.

A year and half later, feeling a hell of a lot better and skint as be-damned, I flicked through the job alerts, knowing I wanted to work but having that sinking, achy, defeated feeling before I applied. Our children are my priority, and my mental health of course. I knew if I was to search for job I was throwing myself back into the lion's den, and I didn't want to go back there. I needed to give myself time to get strong.

Today I sit at my kitchen table, exhausted, determined and surrounded by laundry, as I tip away at my laptop, writing, designing and working really hard to set up my own business. Still broke I am spurred on my my hope and determination that I be doing a fabulous creative job that I absolutley love, and which will make me so happy.  It already does and this is obviously, in return, good for my health. When I get set up and running, I will be able to work around our children. Win win! 

Yes it is damn hard at the moment, I am doing everything myself in between cooking, cleaning, school runs and tantrums. I have 3 mornings a weeks to work like the hammers of hell while the kids are all away, and the rest of the time it's getting as much done in between, and then some more when they go to bed in the evenings. 
I am month 5 into my start-up, and I have still a long way to go. But I am determined. This will, and has to work for me, my family and my mental health. I guess what I'm trying to emphasise is that we all have mummy guilt, no matter what we do, but remember your happiness is so important. It keeps you healthy. I know this now. Try not to let it hold you back from doing what really makes you happy. It is so important to follow your dreams. xx
Written by Sonja, staff writer with Family Friendly HQ and mummy blogger too!
Read Sonja's own blog at www.lifeisnotpinterestperfect.blogspot.ie

Sonja Smith

Sonja is a contributor to Family Friendly HQ.

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