Today I want to speak about Mum Guilt. I’m sure I’m not the only one to have this and hope it’s something others can relate to. I guess from time to time I have a moment or an hour or even a day when I feel I could be better. I feel like I I’m not good enough, that I have failed my child in a certain area of parenting and I just wish I could have done better. Has this happened to you too?
So what triggered My Mum Guilt today? My daughter got her school report. I have to be honest, the report is outstanding. Sylvia had 97% attendance this year and two terms without a single day off.
She has the highest possible scores for attitude and effort and the highest attainment grades in 6 of the 11 curriculum subjects. The report also talks about my daughter’s caring attitude towards others and states she has has a good school year.
At first I felt proud. I felt pleased to see my daughter tries hard in all she does. I felt proud of her kindness and hard work. But then, I started to feel bad. I once was a teacher, before I became ill and as someone who is highly educated I always hoped I would play a large role in my daughter’s learning.
When I read that my child is “slightly below age related expectations” in several key subjects I started to feel bad.
I felt bad that I have not read consistently with Sylvia as often as I had hoped to. I know she does not enjoy maths and I I felt bad that I had not created fun activities to help her enjoy this subject more. I felt guilty for not doing as many fun projects at home to help Sylvia practice her writing.
I felt the Mum guilt very strong and for a few hours felt I had let my daughter down.
Now I guess this doubt and feeling of not being “good enough” is something we all feel from time to time. The truth is I am a great Mother and I do so much to help my child with her education and learning. Helping your child to get almost 100% attendance over a whole year is pretty amazing.
Also, we do do activities, and the only reason I don’t do more is because of illness and the need to rest. The reality is Mum guilt is like looking at a half empty glass when you should be looking at a half full glass.
I really am a fantastic mother. We spend time doing interest based activities. I blog and provide my child with opportunities we would not have if I were not a blogger. We do get to go to nice places as part of reviews and collaborations.
We get lovely toys to play with, many which are educational. Sylvia and I talk, she has good emotional health and is confident to trust me and let me know how she feels. We sing together, bake together, communicate and even play.
We make things and read and watch movies. Then there are times when I am not so well and Sylvia goes on an App which again is educational or fun and enjoyable for her.
At the end of the day I am doing an amazing job. The reality is my child is a May baby. Most of the children in her year group are older than her. I guess what I’m saying is that some children in Sylvia’s class are 8 months older than her.
She has perfect scores for Arts, Computing, RE, PE, Music and Geography and I guess they are the subjects she enjoys the most and are the areas we focus on at home the most.
Feeling guilty about parenting is not a new thing. I remember my mum saying she felt like she did not do a good enough job. That is crazy. She did amazing. She raised 4 children, one with severe special needs.
My sister is a Doctor, I became a Teacher. Although I am not well enough to work in that profession, I do have two degrees and my skills and knowledge have transferred into my blogging and are a blessing, especially my ability to write.
What I’m saying is my mum did wonderful and I love her for all she did and the reality is Sylvia feels the exact same about me.
So rather than feeling bad and guilty I will focus on all I have achieved as a Mum and I can say it’s pretty amazing. So every time I have a moment of doubt I am going to think of five things I am doing brilliantly and focus on the good. Mum guilt can go jump because I am a fantastic Mother and that’s what my daughter thinks!
Stephanie Peyatt says
Thank you for this! I needed it. I have two babies 15 months apart and sometimes the guilt overcomes me. The other day I made my son’s day by putting a bandaid on his crayon that he had accidently broken (and was heartbroken about). It made me feel so proud to make him happy. I think you’re right, we have to celebrate the wins! =)
That is so adorable! We do need to celebrate the wins and know that there is no such thing as a perfect mother or perfect child. It is something we learn each day and I guess it’s like blogging…you can’t do every single task you want to do otherwise you’d go crazy or get unwell or go mad! 🙂
Gareth Torrance (@marketing_punk) says
My OH has already experienced some Mum Guilt, even though our daughter is only 2… But I keep reminding her that our daughter is happy, healthy, and developing well. She is loved, and cared for wholeheartedly. And she shows it. My OH is a great Mum too, I know and my daughter knows it… It’s a shame my OH can’t see it.
There’s too much stigma around “being a super mum” these days that, if your child is not absolutely perfect at absolutely everything, society has decided that you should feel bad. And that’s just not realistic! This is one stigma that needs to break, and break very soon! Mum’s should not be feeling guilty… You’re all doing a damn good job!
I agree. We all have strengths and weaknesses and the expectation to be perfect at everything is unrealistic. It does need to be broken. I agree totally and I am doing a great job. I think society teaches us to feel bad about anything we are not perfect at…and that is just wrong.
Kate Veggie Desserts (@veggie_desserts) says
We all feel like this, but it’s horrible. We need to celebrate the little things and not stress over not accomplishing all that we want to with them. It sounds like she’s doing amazingly well. We need to, somehow, lost the mum guilt.
Yes celebrating the good and not focussing on the small “not as good” is really important!
I got my kids reports on Tuesday and also felt a bit of mum guilt. My youngest is behind with his writing, I am just hoping he catches up soon.
It’s not just me then but yes…funny how we feel these ways at times!
Rhian Westbury says
I’m sure everyone experiences guilt in some way and it must be tough but kids are always going to excel in some things more than others x
I totally agree. 🙂
Olivia Thristan says
I am not a mum so I am unable to comment on this, however I think you seem like an amazing mum and that card is so cute. You should be proud 🙂 x
I love this post – I’m not a mom but I’ve seen my friends stricken with what you call mom guilt – reality is everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses and ALL mums do a darn good job of doing their best for their kids
I agree. I think most mums do brilliant!
Absolutely you should focus on what you’ve achieved so far, and what’s still to come 🙂 you do a great job with your daughter, and don’t let anyone (including yourself) tell you otherwise x
I am doing well!
Kim Carberry says
This is just what I needed to read after the week I’ve had…We had parents evening with my youngest & her teacher and she’s not going well. Her teacher suspects ADHD and I feel like I’ve failed. Then yesterday I forgot to tell her to put her homework in her bag so she has an afters school detention tonight. The teacher is encouraging the kids to think of these things for themselves…Ugh.
We are all doing a great job. Deep down I know that. Sometimes reading something like this is great to remind us of that. Thank you x
I’m glad this helped you Kim, It’s funny how we blame ourselves when things go wrong ie, school and progress. I think when our kids have conditions as well we can feel we have not done enough when the reality is no matter how much we do they could still have the same issues. It’s learning to manage and live with them I guess.
I’m not a parent yet, so I can’t relate to you yet. But try not to bring yourself down! You are a great mum
You’re right, you should be focusing on the great attendance achievement. Take the report card with a pinch of salt. I often say there’s no point worrying unless you’re actually going to do something about it – so if you find the time for extra maths and reading that’s great. Let’s be honest though, parents never have enough time in the day, so you’re likely doing all you can already. All that matters is that your little one is happy and healthy :)!
Yes Happy and healthy is important.
What a great post, I love Sylvia’s letter to you, it’s beautiful. I feel the Mum guilt very regularly too, I really must try harder to focus on the wins!
It’s much easier said than done but yes focus on the wins!
Lauretta at Home and Horizon says
I think Mum guilt is pretty normal, but we just need to overcome it and see the good side of everything. I’m sure in our own ways, we are all doing great in taking care of our kids.
Thanks. I agree it is a normal thing but I don’t think it should be normal!
iain maciver says
fab giveaway my niece would love a lottie doll
My daughter is only 8 months old, but I have already experienced lots of mum guilt, especially having to go back to work when she was 4 months old. But, we just have to do the best we can and as long as they are healthy and happy, that’s all that matters.
I don’t think you give yourself enough credit for the amazing job you do as a mum. You’re terrific!
Stephanie Merry says
From all the mums I know, mum guilt is so common and normal to experience x
Lynne Harper says
I often get mum guilt over various things. I have 6 children and I do often worry that they don’t get enough individual me time. But they are happy and I try and focus on that x
Good to hear they are happy.
JessicaLouise ? (@JessycaLouise) says
You should be very proud of your daughter. I’m sure mum guilt affects so many parents, I know my mum told me she felt the same once.
I think having illness makes it tricky.
I like most mums often have mum guilt. However, I do try to focus on the positives. I have to remind myself daily that I am doing the absolute best that I can. As mums that all any of us can do really, isn’t it?
Yes focusing on the positives is really important!
My mummy also suffers from mummy guilt especially since she’s been in and out of hospital feeling like she’s missing out on things with me. Try not to feel bad – it sounds like you are doing a fantastic job!
I totally understand!
TheUrbanRealist (@theUrbanRealist) says
You’re doing a great job raising your daughter! It’s obvious by how happy she appears on your blog all of the time.
I guess we all feel guilty at times but we’ve all got to remember to good we’ve done! Bringing up your lovely daughter is definitely a massive achievement and I’m sure your daughter knows it!
Absolutely. Please do not feel Mum guilt, when you are doing so much for your life together. I’ve read other posts, and you guys have a lovely relationship. You do some lovely things together, and you make a beautiful pair. I know what you mean however, with your explaination, it doesn’t take much to feel that ounce of guilt. But it is important to overide that guilt with the good stuff.
I totally agree. Thanks Jen for the comments.
You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. as long as you’re trying your best that’s all our children can ask
Leah LS says
I totally get where you’re coming from – I’m not a mum but I understand, however I am glad you realise that you shouldn’t and that you should feel mega proud. You can’t be perfect all the time…no one is x
Of course, your totally right!
that card is so cute! you are a brilliant mother despite everything. everyone has their strengths and weaknesses in school and thats normal. as long as she’s doing her best, thats all that matters
Thanks so much! I totally agree. We all have strengths and weaknesses.
Ana De-Jesus says
Let me tell you straight. You are a fantastic mum and I wish that my biological parents were as kind and as caring as you and John. Not only are you ill but despite your illness, you work hard to provide the best life for your family and like you said blogging has given you all so many amazing opportunities. She had a fantastic report and you should feel very proud of both her and yourself. You gave her a solid and stable environment which many children do not have. Your understanding and always look out for others x
Thanks so much. 🙂 This is lovely. 🙂 I am a great mum!
Mum guilt is the worst! I have to go through it everyday! even if the screen time extends to half an hour extra, the guilt starts creeping in! You are a fantastic mum, I am sure! Kids catch up on the guilt very very quickly and thats why i think they are quick to point out the good in you rather than telling you ‘mum you didn’t read with me today, i am upset’ Instead they tell you how wonderful you are as a parent!
It can be if we don’t keep it in check!
Yaya (@mydreamality) says
Mum guilt is definitely a thing, and gosh it’s so difficult to hush the voices when the doubt comes in. You’re a great mum! x
All of us are aiming to be perfect! As you said you are a fantastic mum and the most importantly your daughter thinks so too! Mum guilt could be such a trap, whatever you do, it might never be enough.
Becky, Cuddle Fairy says
I’m glad you talked yourself around, Angela. I know that all mothers have mum guilt & it starts at conception! You are doing the best you can & you are doing a terrific job! That’s what counts. Thanks for sharing with us at #BloggerClubUK x
Thankyou Becky 🙂
Kirsty Dee says
I can totally relate to this. My daughter had an amazing report too (younger too -June baby), but also struggles academically and I always think ‘maybe if I read more’ etc. Truthfully I do my best and I have to remind myself of that. The other thing I also know she is super clever (not that it would matter if she wasn’t), but my point is we have to stop putting people into boxes. There is so much more to intelligence than academics.
I totally agree and there are so many different talents and skills which can be equally as important as english and maths.
Kirsty Dee says
Mum guilt is the worst, I feel it everyday! I think you are doing an amazing job, in fact we all are. I do think it is harder for summer children. My daughter is July so I am already worrying about school for her but we can only do our best and it sounds as though you are and more.
oh it can be at times. I agree.
GiGi Eats Celebrities says
I have a feeling…. WHEN or IF I ever become a mom – I am going to experience A LOT of mom guilt. Oh man, you just reminded me that this is SO going to happen.
Oh yes..I think every mum goes through this!
Laura's Lovely Blog says
I have actually started writing a post about mum guilt myself it’s so easy to punish ourselves as mothers, we have so much to juggle and there’s always something more we can do. But we also need to remember what we do do. You are a fab mother Angela xx
It happens doesn’t it Laura. It’s seriously not a good thing and drives me bonkers at times but we are both great mums!