How to get rid of mum guilt
At a glance
Parent guilt is entirely normal, but pretty unhelpful
It’s ok to want a break. You may be a parent now, but you are also still you
Juggling work and home life can be tough. Sadly you’re not a superhero so get the balance right and try and do what’s achievable
Perfect mum (or dad) myth is just that – a myth. Perfectly imperfect is the reality
Tired of battling mum (or dad) guilt? Let’s banish parent guilt forever! After all, you’ve already got a lot on your plate with a new baby to look after without feeling guilty or worried about how it’s going. Here are some tips to overcome parent guilt.
Not bonding with your baby?
First of all, don’t worry. It can take a while for that bonding feeling with your baby to arrive. It could be weeks or even months, everyone is different. We know it’s hard not to, but don’t feel too anxious about it. It’s a big adjustment to yours, and if you have one, your partner’s life. Keep up the skin on skin contact with your baby and enjoy lots of cuddles and baby time. Try baby massage as this can help with bonding in a relaxed environment. Bonding will happen naturally.
Feeling pressurised about breastfeeding
Breast is best, and if you’re managing to breastfeed and are enjoying it, then you should be really proud. The World Health Organisation recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of your baby’s life. We know it can be difficult and stressful trying to do it right, especially in the early days. Feeling guilty about not breastfeeding, formula feeding guilt and stopping breastfeeding guilt can keep mums up all night (if you’re not up all night already!)
If you’ve persevered, but it’s not happening for whatever reason don’t feel bad, choose what’s right for you and your baby. If that’s formula, then the important thing is that your baby is well-fed with all the nutrition they need and that you’re a happy parent.
Working mum guilt
Ah, the classic working mum (and dad) guilt. Trying to juggle work and bringing up your little one can be challenging and exhausting. Your parental intuition is so important when choosing childcare options, so listen to that inner voice. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from friends and family and get your partner to push the vacuum around for a bit and do the washing up! You can’t do it all, so don’t try and be super-parent! Here are a few tips to help for when you’re ready to go back to work.
Feeling guilty about needing a break?
Then don’t! In fact, come closer… here’s a secret for you. It’s okay to need a break sometimes. A bit of self-care for mums and dads is vital to keep your batteries charged and ready to go. Grab some moments to relax if you can, call some friends, do some exercise or have a meal with just you and your partner. Even having a long hot soak can do wonders, so don’t feel guilty for thinking about yourself for a change.
The perfect mum myth
We’re saving the big one until last… there is no such thing as the perfect parent! You’d have made lots of plans while you were pregnant and probably conjured up all these ideas of what it would be like when your little one arrived. The reality can be very different, so don’t hold yourself to those early ideals. There is nothing wrong with being perfectly imperfect. It can be tough with good days and bad days and everyone struggles. Ditch the Insta-perfect profiles and the perfect mum myth. You got this… doing it your way!