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Picture it. I hear a shrill shout of ‘mum’ down the baby monitor alerting me to the fact that my darling daughter was awake for the day – this was shrill shout number five from the last 12 hours as my 18 month old had suddenly decided that the sleeping patterns of a newborn are much better than her previous ones.
So, like the mombie that I am I trudged into her room, wished her good morning and went to the dresser to retrieve her clothes for the day. Opening a drawer, I saw it was empty. Glancing over to her wash basket, I noticed the pile of washing I was meant to do yesterday – still sat there – meaning I had no vests to put my daughter in on this cold day, and had to supplement with a long-sleeved t-shirt and an extra pair of leggings. I suppose now is where I should begin feeling that fabulous mummy guilt…
But I don’t. Yes, it’s not an ideal situation that I’ve run out of vests and have a mountain of washing to do, but it isn’t the end of the world, is it?! By adding an extra t-shirt and pair of leggings she’ll be just as warm, if not warmer, and it’s not like we’re going anywhere today anyway (wait, does that also mean I should feel mummy guilty because I don’t have a meticulous plan of learning and adventure activities arranged?!) NO!
Don’t get me wrong, I used to be all about the mummy guilt. When our babies are born it’s like we receive an injection of it and it runs free in our veins forever more! However, it occurred to me randomly one day that I needed to cut myself some serious slack.
Take a look at your child – if, like mine, they’re happy, clean, healthy, fed and loved then guess what?! You’re doing a brilliant job. IF you manage to do some painting with them, or take them to the park, or have every item of their clothing wash, dried, ironed and back in their drawers five minutes after they have taken them off then that’s brilliant too, but it’s not a necessity. So if you’re going to kill yourself doing all that then stop, take a breath, and remember that in the long run if the washing isn’t done that day, it doesn’t matter.
Reading back, I swear the me from three or four months ago wouldn’t have recognised the person writing this now. I used to suffer hugely from mummy guilt for the tiniest thing. Then I realised that the energy I was wasting worrying and feeling bad could be spent getting the things done I was worried about in the first place, and if they didn’t get done, well, there was always tomorrow.
So before you let the mummy guilt close in next time have a think – you’re doing your best and that’s all that matters!
Katie was selected as a BISS guest blogger after entering our November linky. For your chance to write for GoodtoKnow, check out our Because I Said So platform.