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How To Manage Mum Guilt

By Ildiko Markus

Mum Guilt. That feeling that we are all so familiar with and somehow it never tends to go

away. As if the juggling act of motherhood and career wasn’t challenging enough, we also

tend to have mum guilt creeping up on us adding more pressure into our daily lives. What

I’ve come to realise that the best thing that we as Mums can do is to know that it is a totally natural feeling, and we need to normalize and accept it. Here are some effective strategies that can help you manage your conflicting emotions, reduce the pressure of guilt, and remind yourself that you are doing your best:

1. Stay authentic to yourself: Don’t give into peer pressure, feeling judged by societal

expectations or step into the trap of comparing yourself to others. We are all unique

with our wonderful qualities and our own upbringing and personal experiences. So,

someone else’s opinion is purely from their own perspective not yours. Stay true to

yourself and your own values and always listen to your intuition, the voice of your

soul is seldom wrong.

2. Prioritize self-care: Taking care of yourself is essential for improving your overall

wellbeing and alleviate guilt. You can’t keep looking after your loved ones when you

are running empty. Prioritize self-care activities daily, even for a short period of time,

that help you relax and recharge. Be mindful of your internal energy levels and aim to

stay aligned with your intentions and thoughts.

3. Set realistic expectations for yourself: Recognize that you cannot, and you don’t

have to do everything on your own. Asking for help and sharing responsibilities is not

a sign of weakness or failure, it is delegating tasks that can be done by others whilst

freeing up some of your own time.

4. Focus on quality time vs. quantity time: Be intentional with the time that you

spend with your children. Engage in activities that you both enjoy, create meaningful

connection, and make lasting memories.

5. Set clear boundaries: Create strict boundaries between work and home life. When

you are home, be fully present with your children and give them your undivided

attention. Set your phone on airplane mode to avoid any distractions.

6. Practise open communication: Take time to talk to your children about your work

and why it is important and the benefits that it brings to your family. Share with

them your successes and challenges you are facing, help them feel connected to

your work life.

7. Focus on the positive impact you have and the role model you are: Shift your

attention to the positive ways you are impacting your children's lives. Reflect on the

love, guidance, and support you provide and the positive experiences they have

because of your presence and efforts and the role model you are with all your

professional achievements and successes.

8. Embrace imperfection: There is no such thing as a perfect mum. Embrace your

imperfections and forgive yourself for any perceived mistakes. Focus on the love and

effort you put into raising your children rather than dwelling on any perceived

shortcomings. Remember your children just want to spend time with you, they are not

looking for the perfect mum. Be the mum that you needed growing up.

9. Practice positive self-talk and compassion: Be mindful of the language you use

when talking to yourself. Your self-talk is incredible powerful and can determine your

mindset and your energy levels. When you notice the negative self-talk creeping in,

ask yourself this question: “Would you talk to your daughter or your best friend the

way you talk to yourself?”, if not, then adjust your language accordingly. Challenge

your negative thoughts and ask if they are factually true or was that just someone

else’s opinion of you that you adopted? Reframe your negative thoughts and replace

them with positive affirmations.

10. Celebrate your small daily wins: Recognize and celebrate your accomplishments,

no matter how small or how big they may seem. Acknowledge and appreciate the

efforts you make every single day and reflect on the things that you are grateful for.

Shifting your mindset to positive things will automatically shift your personal

perspective to be more positive too.

Remember, managing mum guilt is an ongoing process, and it's normal to experience this emotion from time to time. Be patient with yourself, give yourself permission to make

mistakes, learn, and grow as a mother. Practice self-compassion, and focus on the love and care you give to your children.

Follow Ildiko on Instagram and squash mom guilt once and for all!


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