Surviving Mother’s Guilt

For all the mums out there who have ever felt mother’s guilt…you are not alone.

  • Spending a night out with your significant other.
  • Getting together with friends to catch up.
  • Going to the gym.
  • Buying something for yourself.
  • Working for a steady income.
  • Being a perfect mum.

This short list seems like a lot of fun…unless you’ve experienced mother’s guilt. Im sure that a few of the things listed jump out at you. I can easily remember the first time my husband and I went on a date without our baby boy…we basically talked about him the entire time! I kept thinking how bad I felt for leaving him for an hour. He needed me, and I needed to be there for him 24/7.  Or what about those mums that have to, or choose to go back to work? More often than not, they’re missing their baby and the bonding every single day. For me, this small list is very relatable, but the one that stands out the most to me, is being a perfect mum.

As I became a mum last year, I foolishly believed that I was capable of being a “perfect” mum. I expected myself to never get impatient. That I would never get tired. I would never get annoyed. I would have endless activities planned out for my son. I would teach him sign language early on to help the communication between us. I would only feed him the best and most nutritious foods ALWAYS. But little by little, I saw myself falling short of my expectations, and every time, I would feel intense mother’s guilt.

 

“How dare I fall short of being a perfect mum when I’ve gone through so many trials to bring him here (read about my journey to motherhood here.)” This was my immediate thought anytime I would fail as a mum or do something for myself. For example, more recently, Kana has started throwing tantrums here and there. I swear he saves them special for me, and each time I tell myself that I can stay calm and try to understand what is upsetting him. Often times I succeed, but once in a while I get overwhelmed and handle it the wrong way…insert mother’s guilt.

After situations like this happen, I worry that I’ve damaged our relationship somehow, or that I’ve ruined him and his childhood. I figure that all he will remember, is the moments that I yelled at him, or threw one of his favorite toys out of the room (because he repeatedly hit me with it.) It’s easy to feel awful when all you want is to give your child everything and all of your love. They deserve the best right? What I hadn’t realized until today, is the fact that I’ve been making improvements. Little by little I have been more understanding and patient. Success is coming to me more often. I’m actually turning my weaknesses (very slowly) into strengths! I wouldn’t say that I’ve got motherhood all figured out…but I have definitely seen some positive changes in myself as a mum.

Looking back, my mother’s guilt has been so unnecessary. I’ve been caring for my son the best that I can, while also slowly caring for myself. Taking care of myself should be just as much of a priority as taking care of my son! How can I give him my best self if I don’t feel my best? This goes for those working mums too! Maybe your job completes you, or you just need the income because providing food, clothing and shelter for your sweet little one is of great importance! In either case, make the most of what time you DO spend with them and continue to show and tell them how much you love them. *And on a side note, no matter how much I think Kana will dislike me and our relationship is for sure ruined because I raised my voice at him…he’s right back to playing and giggling with me before I can even blink! A mother’s love far outweighs our mistakes and failures, remember that! 

“Behind every great kid is a mum who’s pretty sure she’s screwing it up.”

xo

Ivy Elkington

 

6 thoughts on “Surviving Mother’s Guilt”

  1. You are an incredible Mama and I love your honesty. You have inspired me from the get-go and I love reading your experiences. I think I’ll definitely be relating to this soon! You have the most beautiful Son ever xx

    1. Awe thanks so much 🙂 Looking forward to seeing your little one soon enough!! Gonna be the most beautiful bebe!

  2. Hey,
    Who says your not a good mom? Let me tell you- motherhood- is not about solving all kiddo problems all the time. More important is to teach them to also care and look after you as well. Give them a good life- but never too much that your pain and sacrifice goes unnoticed.

    1. Perfectly put, thank you for your comment and support! Being a mum has so many different aspects to it including our own health and wellbeing. It’s just as important to care for ourselves as it is to care for our littles!
      xo
      Ivy Elkington

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