By Lizzie O’Halloran
Mama guilt can wreak havoc on self-esteem and the ability to enjoy motherhood. So every time you feel bad, ask yourself these three questions.
+ IS IT BEST FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY?
If it’s for the sake of your own sanity, it’s the right decision. For example, if you’ve given breastfeeding a go and you’re struggling and stressed because your baby is losing weight, it’s not in either of your best interests to continue.
+ ARE YOU A PARENT OR A BEST FRIEND?
Yes, your child might be angry because you won’t let them have that “treat”, but you have to look at whether your goal is to hurt them – or simply do what’s best for them. And usually it will be the latter. You’re a parent, not their best friend.
+ HAVE YOU ADDRESSED THE SITUATION?
Maybe you yelled at your toddler in a trying moment, or your daughter told you you’re not around as much anymore because you’ve gone back to work. That’s when you sit down and talk to your child. You may say something like, “I’m sorry mummy lost her temper – I was feeling very tired and upset and make mistakes sometimes, too.” Or explain, “Going back to work is important to me and to help support our family – maybe you could choose something extra special for us to do this weekend?” Whatever you do, don’t cave into the guilt!
Lizzie O’Halloran is the author of Perfect Mum: How To Survive The Emotional Rollercoaster of Motherhood.