Mum-Guilt: Why you Shouldn't Feel Bad for Having Kids AND a Life

mom hugging her toddler on the kitchen

Mums. It's a sad fact but we never really get the full credit that we’re due. My husband’s always telling me how lucky I am to be able to ‘pop ‘out for coffee whilst he's hard at work. It might seem on the surface that my life’s relatively easy. Don't get me wrong I'm not complaining. I love my life and feel blessed. I work from home, ferry the kids to and from school and yes, I do pop out for the occasional coffee with a friend. But, and it's a big but! This is not the whole story.

What hubby doesn't get is the extra, hidden responsibilities that us mums often take on, without question or fanfare. I'm talking about things like the homework diary. Aha! Yes, persuading our wonderful offspring of the benefit of practising the nine times table after a long day at school. And what about when we have to spend hours scanning the net on how to make such delights as a Mayan costume. Yes, it’s the one thing that makes every parent quiver, the infamous dress up day at school. No-one wants to send their kid in with the worst costume, right?

Of course, there's the responsibility for health too. Making sure we're all up to date with vaccinations, flu sprays, and oh so importantly, that we’ve enough Calpol on tap. And who coordinates all the doctor, dental, hospital, and optician appointments? All this, and the husband couldn’t even get the date of the dog’s vaccination correct. Just saying... 

More often than not, we’re the ones gliding around in the background, silently preparing packed lunches, wiping snotty noses, tidying up after everyone as they leave a trail in their wake, reading the school newsletter to find out what things must be remembered, sitting in bed reading the latest parenting book and frantically ironing school uniform two minutes before its due.

Are you Feeling Mum-Guilt?

Despite doing everything we can to ensure our children’s lives go as seamlessly as possible. After all that, we still experience mum-guilt. When we shout at them because we’re at the end of our tether and exhausted, we feel guilty. When we book them into childcare because we've taken on more hours at work to provide more for the family, we feel guilty. And we feel guilty, or even worse, sometimes we’re made to feel guilty when we walk out that door for a rare moment away from the chaos and responsibility.

Is Social Media to Blame for Mum-Guilt?

It can’t be denied that social media can be useful and enjoyable. But we all know that feeling when you look at your friend’s ‘perfect’ video. You know the one. The child’s beaming face, squealing with excitement as mummy greets them at the end of the school day and hands them a huge helium balloon saying happy birthday. You feel like their life is soooo much better than yours. Believe me, it’s not. You’re just looking at an edited version of their life. They forgot to include how their little darling had ungraciously demanded a balloon at 6am that morning, or how they’d raced out half an hour before the school run, then held up the queue scraping together their coinage because they’d forgotten their bank card. They’d also spent way more than they’d planned because it was the only one left in the shop and finally, they’d sped back (somewhat dangerously,) to the school gate with 30 seconds to spare! Understandably, they omitted to mention that in their tagline. 

Spare yourself the agony. Limit social media and see it for what it is. People making out that their imperfect lives are perfect to make themselves feel better and others worse. That’s where they/we (let’s be honest, we all do it) get the hit. The problem is when you spend a lot of time looking at all of these so-called ‘perfect’ moments you begin to feel like you’re missing out and naturally, that your kids are missing out too.

A Call to Action: Dealing with Mum-Guilt

It’s time to tackle this head on. In an age where there’s never been so much pressure to be the perfect mum, it's timely to remember that there’s nothing such as perfect. Not just that but our own self-care is completely under-rated but so overly important. Mums – it’s time to ditch the guilt and begin to see the value in looking after ourselves and doing some of the things that we like too. Then we begin to teach our children about having a balanced life. Not just that but we begin to enjoy ourselves more, feel less stressed and woe and behold, have some fun. All incredibly positive things for our familial relationships.

Using Aromatherapy for Mum-Guilt

We’ve all got busy lives and as a parent, we have to constantly juggle work, children, family and friends. It can get on top of the best of us. Aromatherapy is a tool that can be used to quickly focus the mind and enhance mood. It’s even more powerful when combined with activities like mindfulness, meditation, and yoga. 

If you begin to experience mum-guilt, you might feel anxious, worried, stressed and/or depressed. As soon as you become aware of those feelings, act quickly and apply our Love Aromatherapy Balm. Its woody oriental scent is like a hug you give yourself, perfect for self-care and grounding you emotionally. Stop. Slowly and deeply inhale the scent from your wrists three times. You’ll be amazed that the combination of this simple action and powerful scent can reset your mood, leaving you with a more positive mind-set. Say no to mum-guilt. Go out there, be strong and proud that you do the very best for your family. Above all, trust that doing things that make you happy, will ultimately make your family happier too.