• Caroline Matthews

A little word about mum guilt

Who remembers the ‘it could be you!’ National Lottery advert.... The one with the giant finger that appears from the sky? If I had to describe how Mum Guilt feels, it would probably be something like this... But without any promise of a small fortune! Q to self: ‘Why isn’t my baby sleeping through yet?’ MUM GUILT: ‘it could be you!’ Q to self: ‘why is my child unhappy at nursery’ MUM GUILT: ‘It could be you!’ You get the picture... Mum guilt may as well be renamed ‘Mother’s Tinnitus’, because it’s the constant ringing in the ears of all the ‘if onlys’, ‘should haves’ and ‘wish I hads’ that probably plague most mum’s thoughts on a daily basis. .

While there should be some reassurance in the knowledge that this is a VERY common and enduring side effect of childbirth - one that affects many (if not ALL) women - this fact does not stop each and every sufferer feeling alone in their plight. It’s easy to feel like everyone else is doing it ‘right’ and that anything that goes wrong is a result of personal wrong-doing. It’s an ‘only me’ mentality that extends a super human status to all other mums. Nobody else would let their child watch cbeebees while they rest their eyes, would they?! Wrong. The thing about mum guilt though, is that it’s not only nonproductive; it’s next to impossible to shake. The mother’s wasp!! We’re told to embrace it, and take a positive stance on it rather than resisting it. Guilt - after all - shows that you care deeply enough to be able to experience ... well, guilt. . So, when the giant finger of blame descends from above like a dark cloud spouting rubbish like ‘it could be you’ in response to your inner self doubts... remember this one thing. The chances of it actually being you are.. one in a million. . But I bet we all continue to play the game nonetheless. 📷 @helenetheillustrator