The Mum Guilt Monster

Alexandra Peill

Posted on May 23 2020

The Mum Guilt Monster
Mum guilt came as a total surprise to me first time round, I didn't even know it existed! Everyone loves to warn you about absolutely everything hard to come when you're pregnant but not one person mentioned the guilt - the thing I found the hardest by far and still do. I've never really been a worrier, more so the polar opposite but the minute I had my first son it started.

The first time I felt it was when I'd just given birth and he was taken to the neonatal ward pretty much straight away because his breathing was a little laboured, and I didn't / couldn't see him for the first 5 hours. So when I did eventually get to see him, knowing I'd not been with him whilst they prodded and poked him in his first few hours of life absolutely killed me. Not that there was anything I could have done to change it, but it was there, that raw mum guilt that hit me like a slap in the face, totally irrational and ridiculously unexpected. I should have known from then on that this was something I was going to really struggle with.

From then on whether it was not knowing why he was crying or plonking him in front of the TV so I could have a break, I started feeling that pang of guilt. Every time I thought I'd done something that in some way might somehow, have a detrimental effect on him no matter how small or unlikely it was, I felt guilt. The worst part was that I knew I was being totally irrational and could see that, but it didn't change how often I felt it, and although I still struggle with the guilt just as much now, I've learnt to accept it.

With it being mental health awareness week it's important to be kind especially to ourselves. We're all doing our best at parenting so it's worth remembering when you feel the guilt creeping in, the fact you acknowledge it and feel it shows you're doing your best. It's almost as if it's our conscience checking how we're doing and our mind reflecting on our intentions.

Who else struggles with mum guilt, how do you deal with it? Does it ever stop??

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