The four reasons mummy guilt is ruining your life and how to fix it

By Kat Barlow

1. Guilt is a wasted emotion and a thief of time

This will be the title of my first book. 

Guilt wasn’t just a glass ceiling for me it was a monster that was screaming in my face “YOU SHOULDN’T BE DOING THIS”

You know the feeling…the one that creeps into your belly every time you think about doing anything that might even slightly be construed to being about you. It makes you feel a bit sick, you worry that you are being selfish and if it’s ok…and you haven’t even done anything yet! You start to over think all the things that might happen and before you know it months, even years have passed and nothing has changed. You still (so desperately) need to do something for yourself but the guilt has become a thief of time. 

2. Serves No Purpose

So is guilt serving you or stopping you? Think about what that feeling has brought you so far in your life? Is guilt bringing you joy, happiness and all the things you want in life or is it bringing you nasty feelings in your chest, mean voices in your head and the same problems you faced before? I am going to go out on a limb here and guess the latter. 

3. Holds us back

Just stop for a second, now think about all the things you would love to do. I don’t just mean “Climb Mount Everest” though that most certainly should be on the list if that’s your goal. I am talking about the every day things that you want to and should be doing to save your sanity and your soul. You want to do yoga once a week? You want to eat healthier? You want to just have a cup of tea in peace! What’s stopping you? Is it just guilt? You are the centre of your children’s universe and by taking time out to maintain your SELF you are helping them. You will feel better inside and out and in turn this will help them too. 

4. Gives us Excuses

Change is hard. The day we decide we will start exercising more or eating better for example is the day we need to take action. As soon as we start to think about it, mummy guilt is one of those things that might creep in to stop us.

Ever hear yourself say something like “Yeah but the kids need me to “insert task here” so it wouldn’t be fair of me to go” And there you have it…guilt just gave you another excuse not to do something you know you need to be doing for yourself. 

How can we fix it?

The first thing we need to do is be aware of the little voice in our heads. The little voice that makes us alllll the stories and excuses for us. Can you hear what it’s saying to you?

Maybe you are stuck in an old pattern of always putting others first and never doing anything for yourself. How is that working out for you? Often we are run down mentally and phyiscally and stuck in the same loop in our head “I shouldn’t do that, it wouldn’t be fair if I did that, I can’t because of the kids, There is no time for me”

YOU are in charge of YOU.

Once upon a time you put yourself last and now it’s become a habit. You might not even realise you are doing it anymore. Then you get to the end of the day and you are exhuasted in every way.

Let me give you a little secret

Leans in and whispers

*It’s ok to put yourself first. The kids need you, so they need you to be well, to be happy, to be fulfliled. However that looks for you.*

You are also teaching them a valuable lesson. That in order to serve others to the best of your ability you need to sort yourself first. 

You can’t fill a tank from an empty bucket.

What do they say in every plane safety announcement…you need to put your oxygen mask on first before helping others…and the same is true for your life.  

You can’t pour from an empty cup, take care of yourself first

Kat is the founder of Empowerment Ethos. She has experienced the challenges of living a life in extraordinary circumstances and what she discovered is that, in the darkness of our stories and experiences, buried inside it, are lessons to be learnt, things that can be overcome, and a deep joy that has been gifted to us from knowing a life of adversity. Kat now empowers parents of kids with disabilities & diversity to live a life without limits by taking them on a journey from stress to stillness and from powerlessness to peace. To find out more visit www.empowermentethos.com

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