A Mother’s Day gift – no guilt

Kathy Krugeradoption, guilt, motherhood, mummytime13 Comments

no guilt mothers day

As you wake up to breakfast in bed, handmade cards, craft and drawings, the precious gift of an “I love you Mum’ mug with hot chocolate and a marshmallow from the Mother’s Day stall not to mention an obligatory new pair of slippers, it’s hard not to feel grateful.

And I am, and I will be on Sunday.

But I’m still missing the gift I want the most and I’m the only one who can give it to myself – freedom from mother’s guilt.

Before you choke on your cup of hot choc with marshmallow in your new mug, I’m not that stupid or fanciful to believe that a total absence of guilt is possible. And a little bit of guilt is a good thing.

What I want is an absence of that gnawing, gnashing guilt, the kind that eats out the pit of your stomach leaving you feeling sick all the time. I want to stop carrying my shame around like a shadow.

I reckon in the absence of that kind of guilt we can find peace and joy.

This time a couple of years ago I wrote in one of my early posts about having the ‘guilt gene’, and I do think I feel guilty more than most, for all sorts of irrational reasons that I’m still reigning in. But there are some rational ones too.

What do I have to feel bad about – plenty!

  • I’ve been letting that horrible word ‘HATE’ sneak into my vocabulary, which is hypocritical when I tell the kids not to use it and I really do ‘HATE’ it!
  • I’ve been getting frustrated at our Little Yang over his learning challenges and then feeling this (imagine Thumbelina) small.2743554293_4c7bd81e6e
  • I stomp around the house, barking orders at kids who seem never to follow them, making Miss Yin feel Thumbelina small for not being more mature and leading her brother by better example (hello, what sort of example am I setting).
  • I’m back from two blissful nights away with hubby (and from kids) last week and I’m already barking at him too, and belittling his efforts to instil some sort of order into our household.
  • A few weeks ago I started a 5 day e-course by Anna Partridge “How to Yell Less and Enjoy your Kids More: 5 days to becoming more Positive Parent”.   I’d said to Anna that I’d do the course and review it for her, but then I had some technical issues, got really busy at work before going away on a girl’s mini-cruise, went on the cruise, got back and got busy the next week with work and kids and because I was having a few days off last week for our 20th wedding anniversary! So almost a month has passed and I’m still yet to finish the five day course (I’m up to day four!) – too busy to do a course to help me stop yelling at my kids and enjoy them more! (sorry kids, sorry Anna).

The lovely Bron, Maxabella Loves, posted this week about ‘when parenting feels too hard’ and she was full of honesty about how much it sucks, and inspiration about how to make it better.

I feel like I’m stuck on the ‘it sucks’ bit – and it’s Mother’s Day, which makes that feel all kinds of wrong. How can I possibly feel like parenting sucks at this time of year in particular, when I have so much to be grateful for (and when I’m parenting ‘someone else’s children’). Opps guilty, big time.

I’m waiting for inspiration to make things better.

I do know I won’t find inspiration to be a better mum in being endlessly guilty about the mum I already am. You won’t either.
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There’s inspiration here – 5 lessons all parents could learn from Buddhism and I found it when writing this article for Tiny Buddha about replacing guilt with self-compassion – I hope you like it.

I’m following Bron’s advice with a fresh clean-out first – because that makes things feel more under control, and then I can relax with a cuppa on Mother’s day and enjoy the kids, sans guilt.

(Oh and did I mention yoga)!

Happy Mother’s Day. How are you faring in getting rid of mother guilt?

Linking up (a little late) with Grace for FYBF and joining in the Weekend Rewind with Bron, Sonia, Kelly and Sonia.

Kathy X.Namaste sign off_edited-1

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Kathy KrugerA Mother’s Day gift – no guilt

13 Comments on “A Mother’s Day gift – no guilt”

  1. Caz @ Home Heart Haven

    Wonderfully honest post Kathy. It’s a hard one letting go of mother guilt (she says reading blogs while her son is surfing YouTube!) but I’m finding it a little easier these days. Be gentle on yourself and maybe you need to balance yourself out by writing a complementary list of what you’re doing well at the moment. And have a glass of wine. Have a wonderful Mothers Day x

  2. alicia

    It gets worse on mothers day too, when that one day of the year you should be having that dream break, and don’t get it. Mine finishes at that last bite of the breakfast toast, when I am forced back into motherhood reality, and have to clean up the aftermath. Gives me the shits really, and the one day of the year I shouldn’t have the shits One of my mantras for this year is ‘no guilt’. I feel so much other stuff on this roller coaster ride, I don’t need to feel guilty.

  3. Life, kids and a glass of red

    I don’t think we’ll ever escape the guilt. I also loved Bron’s post about when parenting feels too hard. I went out and bought a container of anti bacterial wipes and went to town. Of course the toddler wasn’t allowing the vacuuming to go smoothly so it was a case of scrub everything else instead. I even ended up pulling out an old rag cloth and windex and cleaning the windows too :) I always feel the guilt. When I’m at home with the kids, I feel I should be at work to contribute financially. When I’m at work, I feel I should be at home with the kids. Its a no win situation. At least I take comfort in the fact that pretty much every mother I’ve spoken to about this feels exactly the same, so we’re not alone! Wishing you a fabulous Mother’s Day :)

    1. Kathy Kruger

      It is such a wasted emotion guilt – rarely useful. Glad you had some productive time – in our chaotic lives as parents we have to realise we can control only some things, and our level of guilt is probably one of them. Thanks for visiting.

  4. Sonia Life Love Hiccups

    Awesome and honest post hun. I think we should create one massive bonfire and we all throw our guilt into it and dance as it burns.. it serves no purpose for anyone. I hope you had a beautiful Mothers day Kathy – you sure deserved it xx

  5. Lauren - Gold Coast Mum

    Great post Kathy!
    I’m totally guilty when it comes to Mother’s guilt…
    I also need to get a hurry on with Anna’s program too – as definitely want to continue down that path of a positive/peaceful parent rather than a crazy/screaming mum lol!

  6. Maxabella

    Thank you for linking to my post, Kathy. I’m actually half-in with writing a piece about guilt myself as one of the things that came through my ‘parenting is hard’ piece was the amount of guilt mothers feel about saying it sucks sometimes. I find that extraordinary. We are human, only human, nothing more, we don’t need to be more. No guilt whatsoever in doing the best you can with what you have when you’re there. x

    1. Kathy Kruger

      Here, here Bron – why do we find it so hard not to feel guilty – I feel particularly ‘expert’ at guilt, given that we went through so much to have our kids, adopted them and still sometimes parenting sucks.

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