How To Slay The Mummy Guilt
Who else wants to slay the mummy guilt? You know that inner voice that questions how well you are doing as a mum.
Sometimes, this comes from others’ expectations and sometimes our own expectations. I also do not think that we will ever get a one perfect answer when it comes to work life balance; does it exist? Maybe in looking for the perfect balance we miss out on the journey.
The other day one of the kids went on a playdate and the food served was very yummy. This led to the following conversation; “wow your mum cooks so well, my mum doesn’t really like to cook”
A mum who overhead this conversation, quickly shared her opinions with another mum. She was quite shocked and shared that the I Don’t Like to Cook Mum cannot be a good mother, because what kind of woman would not like to cook.
Interestingly the mum she mentioned this to, was also a mum who doesn’t like to cook.
She answered with, “what is the big deal? Her kids look healthy and are obviously eating well…who says a woman has to love or like cooking? If it gets done what does it matter?” This was indeed food for thought for the mum who was judging.
Sometimes this is where the pressure comes from; the judgement others pass using their view of the world as the only view on the world.
The mum who loves to cook, might not be able to pick her children from school everyday, the mum who picks her children from school everyday might not like volunteering to go on school trips, the mum who can go on school trips might not be able to pay school fees for her children.
The point is that the idea that there is one way to be a mother is A LIE! Everyone is different!
I love how the word “slay” has crept into our vocabulary. It just signifies killing it, winning on a different level, just generally being a boss and in the case of mummy guilt, killing the guilt because it only robs you of your joy and peace.
Here are some useful guides on how to “slay the mummy guilt:”
Slay the Mummy Guilt by Not Comparing Others to Yourself
Stop comparing yourself; not to your neighbor, not to the mum who looks perfect on social media, not to the woman who is at the top of her career or to anyone for that matter. Do not even compare yourself to who you thought you would be at this point.
You can admire people, have positive mentors and even ask questions to learn. But No Comparing. Comparing has a way of making you feel like there is something wrong with you, or that there is something wrong with the other person. This quote by Maya Angelou sums it up:
“Do your best till you know better, then when you know better do better.”
Accept That There’s No One Way To Do It
See this parenting matter, there is no one way to it! When it comes to the million hats you have to wear, there is no one way to wear the hat. As unique as we all are, we will all have different ways to achieve our goals.
What is important is that you are truly doing the best for your child and family. Flexibility and motherhood should go hand in hand.
Life is in seasons so the way you parent will change over time. Your values as a family should stay intact but your style might change and that is okay. Be willing to stop what doesn’t work for you and try new things as need be.
Sacrifice is real! No one has it all figured out. The juggle and ability to prioritise is based on accepting that something will always have to give way for something else. You cannot have it all, at the same level, at the same time. Sometimes your work might take more of your time and at other times, when you are with family, this will take your time.
I read a fantastic book called Essentialism and it taught me a very simple concept. In summary, every time you say ‘Yes’ to something, you say ‘No’ to something else, so be sure you are saying yes to the things you really want to.
Embrace the Seasons
Life is in seasons, so there is the need to adapt and go with it. During all the changes in your life, it is important to find yourself especially as you navigate life as a mum.
There was a time I could not sleep through the night uninterrupted because of the need to feed a baby, or change a diaper. This was when coffee became my friend to help me get through the day. Fast forward a few years after the birth of my second baby, I decided to take time out to be a stay-at-home mum.
During this period as a stay-at-home was when I started a blog. As they say the rest is history and now I am managing the demands of being an entrepreneur, mum, wife and many other roles.
So, I have been through many seasons, and it keeps evolving. The way my children needed me as toddlers is so different as school-aged children. I have evolved with them as I have also allowed myself to change and grow with the seasons.
Ask For Help
Nope, I fully accept I am not a superwoman nor wonder woman. Neither are you. I know we joke by calling ourselves Superwomen- to appreciate all the many roles we play. But in reality we need to stop this as it gives the idea that we can do it all.
It is okay to ask for help and find a support system. Your support systems can be made up of whatever kind of person helps you get your work as mum done.
So your support system could be grandma, nanny, cook, other mums who help with school runs and of course, dad! Asking for help and accepting help does not make you any less of their mother. Right? Right!
Learn To Say No.
We are natural nurturers, we carry life and are wired to care for our children and by extension our families. But it is totally okay to say No! As I mentioned earlier I read a book that taught me that every yes means I am saying no to something else.
Make sure you are making the best choice for you, not someone else (as least not all of the time). In reality, breastfeeding baby might force you to say no to an early morning jog.
Resist the urge to say yes to every request, say no if you cannot do something. Because what happens when you say yes and can’t do it leads to even more guilt.
Being a super organized person makes all the difference. In addition to the million demands of being a mum, there can also be so many other demands on your time.
Some can be distractions, such as spending countless hours on social media; scrolling through feeds and watching Youtube videos; attending empowering conferences, going to school plays, attending parent-teacher conferences, going to the salon and getting the children to extra-curricular activities.
Phew! Are you as tired as I am just writing this list? So if you are not organized you forget all the things you need to do.
Sometimes you double- book meetings and mix stuff up! If you are already dealing with mummy guilt, you do not want to add the guilt of not being in control of your time.
Use whatever tools you need to, but stay organized. Put things in your calendars and set reminders. And it is okay to say I will get back to you.
Take Care of Your Health
Last but not least, take care of yourself mummy! Yes, you are perfect when it comes to the immunization schedule and doctor’s appointments for the whole family. But then you forget yourself.
If you are not healthy you cannot be the best mum for your kids. So take the time and see your doctor for annual checks, take care of your mental health as well.
Know what your stress factors are and have people you can talk to, relax and do some things for fun.
Okay, these are just some of my tips for how to slay the mummy guilt. Are there some other ways that you have? Kindly share with us.
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