Monday, 11 March 2019

What is 'Mum Guilt?'

I have none.

Zero guilt about anything I've done as a parent.

If I had my time over again I wouldn't do anything differently or would I?

Or would I just feel that I was under the scrutiny of social media and would I feel guilty for things because I'm told I should feel guilty more?

I didn't feel guilty as a parent if I didn't breast feed, or read enough, or went to the park more often or invested in a extra lessons or the house wasn't clean. I felt frustrated, felt there wasn't enough time in the time, but I didn't feel guilty.

I don't feel guilty for sending the youngest to boarding school. Many tried to make me feel bad for sending him away in an article we were in, in the Daily Mail. Apparently 'Boarding school is a rich persons "putting their kids into care"'
With our eldest child in care due to profound disabilities comments like this are highly offensive, they don't make me feel guilty though, just angered.

I don't feel guilty for not living in the same country as my children. Of the 5 now adult kids. They all  live their own lives, 3 absorbed in work and their new families, 1 moved to Australia and 1 travels the world through his job from his base in Northern Ireland.

I don't pester our adult children into spending time with me or each other, I allow them to make their own choices, they can't drop everything just because I'm over in the UK for a few weeks at a time. I don't make them feel guilty about it, they don't make me feel guilty about being 1000's of miles away.

We don't always like our family set up but it works for us and anyone who makes us feel guilty just isn't worth bothering with.

I can apply not feeling guilty to all aspects of my life. From not only being a mother, but a daughter and a wife.

I just don't conform to stereotypes. I don't measure my life against others. I have occasional envy of other people's lives, but I don't feel I'm missing out on anything if I'm totally honest.

I don't have expat guilt.
I'm not your typical expat. I see so many women aboard having their nails and hair done, following the latest fashions and attending the right events. I could do it if I wanted, it's just not my thing.

I don't have wife guilt.
I miss my husband when I'm in the UK and he misses me when I'm juggling my time with family and friends, leaving him alone with the cat and dog to look after. My husband reminds me that the life we lead has given us and the kids so many opportunities we might not have had if we'd stayed in the UK. we don't make one another feel guilty for the time we are apart.

I don't have daughter guilt.
Living 1000's of miles from my mother. I can do what I do for her from Dubai, when I'm over in the UK we do things together but not every second of the day. I don't feel guilty for spending time with friends, my mum doesn't make me feel guilty for not spending every spare minute with her.

I don't have friend guilt.
I see my friends a couple of times a year, I invest a lot of time in maintaining these friendships when I'm abroad. If I was still living here I wouldn't see as much of them, we'd be getting on with our lives, taking our proximity to one another for granted and weeks would pass us by. I don't feel guilty for living the life I do and they don't make me feel guilty about the opportunities my husbands job gives me/us, they enjoy listening to our stories of our lives abroad as much as I enjoy listening to their lives and what their children are achieving. I don't tell them they're missing out on life by choosing to do what they do either.

I just remind myself that there are many people who would like the life I have and I'm not to feel guilty about it.

I feel mum guilt/shaming is something that's internal to a lot of people and if you're in an online group where people are making comments to make you feel bad about your circumstances or the way you're choosing to live your life then I suggest you leave those groups.

Support groups are supposed to help not make you feel guilty. Sometimes people don't set out to make you feel guilty. In blogging a lot of people don't celebrate enough of their success or their hard work, as they feel people will judge them for showing off, but I think we should celebrate our successes more and just ignore the people who try to make us feel guilty for doing so.

Do you have mum guilt or do you feel it's more fear of missing out FOMO?
I know I tend to suffer with FOMO, as I travel between our two separate lives, we miss important events, we miss day to day stuff. Our lives are in the UK with family and friends and the one we have in Dubai.

27 comments:

  1. Good for you! Life is too short for guilt. We all have to do what's best for ourselves and our families, not what other people feel is best for us, or what is best for them.
    (I must admit I do feel guilty about stuff though, not big stuff about people judging me, but if I choose to watch one child play football and leave another one home alone and small stuff like that.)

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    1. that's a difficult one making sure one's time is spread equally amongst the children, our partners, often parents and ourselves. I feel no guilt for this, just frustration in my time management skills. It does all eventually equal out though

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  2. Nice post. I think we have to be happy with the choices we make. And while not always perfect, or even the right thing, all we can do is make a new choice and try again. #GlobalBlogging

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    1. exactly, its more frustration that I couldn't do it all than guilt, I know I wasn't supermum in the first place

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  3. Guilt is a waste of energy. If there is guilt it is perhaps a sign you've made the wrong call - so just do something about it. You seem happy with your choices and make the most of them. Good for you xx Maria

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    1. of course there are many things I could've done differently, but I don't feel guilty about it

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  4. I need to take a leaf out of your book I think - I feel guilty about everything and everything!! Great post. Thanks for sharing on #ItsOK xxx

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    1. Of course it could just be hindsight i have here

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  5. I have immense mumguilt, over the littlest things, but over the years I'm learning to deal with it and not let it affect me so much. As mums, we do our best, and still feel like failures if it's not enough but we have to realise we cannot be everything to everyone all of the time. We are human beings too, with our individual needs and capacities. The less I feel guilty about not being perfect, the more present I am. It's tough, but it's essential to our sanity as mums. And #itsok

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    1. but where does this mum guilt come from? is it external forces such as social media or internal?

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    2. Both. Although it's more internal for me as I don't let social media affect me so much.

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  6. I need to learn from you a bit. I mean, I am not riddled with guilt over things, but I do use the 'should' word too often. Bravo to you! You are a breath of fresh air! I am inspired. #triumphanttales xoxo

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    1. pleased to hear although this could all be with hindsight

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  7. Back at you, momma, from #triumphanttales xoxo

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  8. I think this line is crucial to the whole problem - would I just feel that I was under the scrutiny of social media and would I feel guilty for things because I'm told I should feel guilty more? - In this day and age we are constantly comparing ourselves to each other - years ago you couldn't do this. Well done you for not slipping down that hole. Thanks for sharing with #TriumphantTales

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    1. thank you, but i didn't raise my kids under the scrutiny of social media which made my parenting easier for sure

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  9. I'm not a mom, but I don't think I would have guilt if I was. I rarely feel guilty because I'm confident in my decisions and don't see much use in looking back to decide if I was right. I like looking forward! #GlobalBlogging

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    1. i think most of the guilt we have is from external forces

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  10. I'm with you totally. It frustrates me how many mums seem to feel guilty. I don't, I make the choices I make for good reasons and if they don't work we try something else. But as long as everything works for us, that's important. I think more people need to think that way. Also, if there was something I couldn't make at school I'd be disappointed, but not feel guilty. I think my OH should be the one to feel worse because he never goes to anything to support N or take him to activities if I'm away. N just has to miss out going. But he doesn't think anything of it, so I don't think mums should.

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    1. i think half the battle as a mum is not justifying what we do with our kids or don't do to others

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  11. Good on you! My kids are getting older and I can't wait for them to move on and do their own thing. People laugh when I say that, but I mean it! I've done my time and feel no guilt. #PoCoLo

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    1. i felt that way till the time actually came and it took me a while to adjust, but i don't feel guilty about it

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  12. Love this! Unfortunately I do have the dreaded mum guilt, all of the time, but I still wouldn't do anything differently - I've accepted the mum guilt is 100% part of my life and it's not going anywhere! #pocolo

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    1. I'm sorry to hear you have the dreaded mum guilt, but at least it doesn't stop you from doing things the way you do

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  13. Great post! Someone said to me that when you give birth, you also give birth to guilt! It’s taken a while but I’ve come to the conclusion (cliche alert) that life’s too short for guilt.

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    1. I've not heard that one before, all i ever heard was when you leave the hospital after giving birth, you leave your dignity behind also

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