How to get over the Mum guilt and take the time for yourself that you need

mum guilt

 

Ah Mum guilt hey. That sneaky little feeling that often keeps us doing the very things we NEED to do, to actually enjoy motherhood. 

 

I think all Mums feel mum guilt at one point or another.  For me the guilt was the hardest in the first few years.  It’s definitely gotten easier as my boys have gotten older or perhaps it gets easier the more children you have.

 

Maybe because the more children you have the more you NEED time to yourself. 

 

I still occasionally feel guilty or let myself use allllll the excuses for why I shouldn’t go and take the time to myself that I needed. But this is totally different to that first year of motherhood.

 

Back then I almost felt paralysed by the guilt.  I felt like I couldn’t leave my baby and I definitely over-planned and over analysed it to death. So much so that even if I did take the time, I didn’t enjoy it all that much.

 

But heres the thing. 

 

If you don’t take time for yourself you end up bubbling with resentment. 

 

Resentment towards your partner (especially if they are particularly good at taking the time that they need for themselves).

 

Resentment towards your kids and their constant needs.

 

Maybe even resentment towards yourself.  Or if not resentment, a definite disconnect from yourself. You might find yourself wondering… who am I again?!

 

Watch the video below for my tips for getting over this Mum guilt or at least getting past it enough to still take the time that you need. (Or read on if you’ve got a sleeping babe in your arms!)

 

 

How to get over the mum guilt

 

Give yourself permission

This is probably the hardest part because we are our own worst critics.  At some point though you’re going to have to decide that taking time for yourself is more important for everyone’s happiness and just accept that you might always feel a little guilt over it.

 

Voice your needs to your partner

Having someone on your side who can maybe give you a little push to take the time away that you need, can really help when you’re fighting that internal mum guilt battle.  Explain to them why you need time away, how you feel when you don’t get it and try and explain the guilt. They probably won’t get it, but at least they’ll know about the internal battle you fight so that they can give you a little shove when you need it the most.

 

Schedule time out for both of you and STICK TO IT

Admittedly I’m the worst at this. Every week we schedule out time for both of us to take some time.  Inevitably though when my time comes around I often find some excuse for why I shouldn’t take it.

I tell myself the time would be better spent doing _______ (insert house work, paid work, online work, family stuff) instead.

I tell myself I’m too tired to go to that yoga class or take a walk.

I tell myself that I shouldn’t spend the money on a lunch or coffee out because we’re trying to save for x, y or z.

Basically I make up every excuse.

My husband on the other hand, gets up and out every single time it’s his turn for the gym or to catch up with friends.

This my friends is called self-sabotage and I’m the queen at it. 

Some ways I’ve found that help me stick to actually taking this time and not backing out are – organising to meet someone (I’ll never let someone else down), having clothes laid out ready to go so I can’t use that as an excuse, write it on the calendar (for some reason this makes it more likely that I’ll take it), tell Andrew to not let me back out of it – a bit of ‘peer’ pressure works wonders!

 

Do it anyway.

Sometimes just accepting that you feel guilty is the first step.  If you can accept it and then move on and do it anyway, eventually you’ll feel less and less guilty each time.  Taking time out will become normal, rather than feeling like a secret guilty pleasure. You’ll teach your kids that it’s normal and healthy to take time out for themselves (which most of us can admit we’d never deny them) and we’ll get better at letting go of those negative feelings that hold us back from taking the time that we need. 

 

I’d love to hear how you get over the mum guilt that comes up around taking time for yourself. Have you found it changes the more kids you have, or the longer you’re a Mum?  What worked best for you to banish the Mum guilt?

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