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Mama Moments - Mum Guilt


motherhood, parenting, mama moments, mum guilt, janine renee, what renee made
Mum guilt............ where do I begin? 
BG (before Gray) I'd heard of this mythological creature that lurked around corners, with the power to cripple even the strongest of mama's, using laser like focus to disarm it's prey. But It wasn't until recently that I'd encountered it for myself. Mum guilt! 

Going back to work in November brought on waves of the dreaded stuff. I'd only been at work for a week when things started to go downhill fast. Gray began teething again and developed a nasty cold so was really grissly. We live in a rural area and have to be up and out the house by 6.30am, for me to drop Gray at his childcare (which happened to be his Nana) and be at work in central London by 9. This means Gray going from his bed to the car half asleep and still in his PJ's. He's usually okay with it all, but when he wasn't feeling well it was tough on him getting up so early, and our mornings involved lots of tears mostly his but I shed my fair share too. 

"Guilt for not getting everything right, guilt for crying, guilt for working, guilt for not working, guilt that I'd gone back to work so soon, guilt that I can't afford to be a stay at home mama, guilt that I don't even want to be a stay at home mum. I had so much guilt there was some going spare!"

motherhood, parenting, mama moments, mum guilt, janine renee, what renee made

After a huge rush to get into work I found myself feeling really out of sorts and struggling to get my head around the smallest of tasks, which meant me just not feeling like I was giving it my best. It all culminated one dreary monday morning with a Southern rail strike (please dont even get me started on that one!) the biggest traffic jam and forgetting Gray's stuff at home. We arrived at his Nana's with him looking very tearful, feeling chesty and me on the brink, only for me to realise that I'd forgotten the bloody bag. It's silly I know but realising that I'd messed up sent me over the edge the tears that I'd been holding back burst through an already shaky dam. In all honesty I wasn't even crying over the bag it was the fact that I felt like I wasn't holding everything together. I felt so guilty for having to bring Gray out in the could at the crack of dawn while he wasn't feeling well and not being the one to look after him while he was sick. I was also feeling pretty crappy about not being as focused at work and the house being a tip. Which ever way I turned was guilt. Guilt for not getting everything right, guilt for crying, guilt for working, guilt for not working, guilt that I'd gone back to work so soon, guilt that I can't afford to be a stay at home mama, guilt that I don't even want to be a stay at home mum. I had so much guilt there was some going spare!

Sitting on the train on my way into work (who am I kidding I was standing squashed under some strange man's arm pit! Cheers Southern!) I was so close to handing in my notice things just didn't feel right. I thought long and hard about my situation, and truth be told we can't afford to be a single income family. This blogging malarky is fun and wonderful but doesn't pay the bills. I couldn't change my circumstances right away but I could try to sort out my mindset. I'd managed to get myself into a really negative place and was being really hard on myself. The Mr said I was doing "a classic Janine expecting everything to be perfect instantly". His words really hit home I'd only been back a few weeks and it was bound to take a little time for things to fall into place. I realised that I was putting a huge amount of pressure on myself to be some sort of super mum. 

"Focus On The Good and Take Some Time Out"
motherhood, parenting, mama moments, mum guilt, janine renee, what renee made

The thing about myths is that they often need to be debunked. The only way I could get around the guilt was to change my focus stop magnifying the things that weren't working, focus on the good and take some time out. I've been trying to pay closer attention to everything that's going well and really do a littler internal victory dance about it. So the other day when I forgot to brush Grayson teeth before bed I didn't beat myself up just told myself I'd remember the next night and focused on the fact that we had a lovely day together. I also decide to take a little time out to get my head together. The Mr looked after Gray so I could have a night out with my friends which really did wonders. The opportunity to be baby free and just let go re-energised me. I also used some of my annual leave to get a few extra days off over Christmas and spent them with the family soaking up that quality time. 

I'm not going to pretend that I've got the whole mum guilt banished, because I haven't. I'm still working it and am pretty sure it will return. For now I'm taking things one baby step at a time.

I'm still figuring this motherhood thing out, so would love to know how do you deal with mum guilt?

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