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If the X Factor was the Guilt Factor I’d get to judges houses!

If you are a mum and you battle with guilt, then this article is for you. Maybe you feel guilty for leaving your children with a minder while you go to work? Or at work you feel guilty because you’re only part-time and can’t get as much done.

On top of this you need to do a tonne of things but they are pulling at your trousers saying in the most divine voice ever, “Mummy do you want to play with me?”

Guilt

Definition of guilt by me, “Big ugly stringy mess that tugs at your heartstrings, like a dark version of Mister Tickle but more arms and less smile.”

Actual definition of guilt by Oxford dictionary, “A feeling of having committed wrong or failed in an obligation”

Guilt is great if it’s appropriate. If you have hurt someone, gossiped about a friend, been rude to your partner then guilt wakes you up to that and hopefully encourages you to make amends. 

I’m talking about the guilt we get when we haven’t done anything wrong. We are just mums trying to muddle through life and keep everything in balance, usually putting the needs of others first, our own last, but still being plagued with guilt because often it seems like you can't make a right choice!

We could spend some time psychoanalysing where our guilt comes from, but I really don’t think you have the time right now. I want to give you some practical advice so you can manage you guilt and feel a little more free.

So instead consider these things: 

Accept that your life will contain a certain amount of guilt

...because you are a mum. I wish I could tell you to banish all guilt and that is possible but right now you need some easy steps. Focus on keeping guilt at a manageable level.  

Let yourself off the hook all the time

A jar of ready-made baby food is ok. Oven pizza instead of freshly prepared food is a life saver. Growing your own veg is not essential neither is owning your own chickens. Children being covered in mud and insisting on wearing their superman outfit to school will amuse everyone, no one is going to judge you. Crying like a baby as you leave your youngest at nursery for the first time while you go to work is your right as a mother. 

Be kind to yourself

Practice saying this, "Hello guilt, I can see you. You can sit in the corner if you have to stay but you are not controlling my day. I am doing my best and I am a good mum". 

You are a good person, you don’t deserve to be carrying a huge load of guilt around with you. Just let it go… at least most of it! If you don’t you’ll end up stressed, overwhelmed, and depressed and that is no use to anyone!

It’s okay if your guilt gets you to the six chairs but don’t win the Guilt Factor! 

If you’ve realised your guilt factor is too much and you want help restoring some balance in your life please contact me and together we can decide if counselling is right for you.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Pudsey, West Yorkshire, LS28

Written by Nicola Hughes MBACP Acr - Creative Counsellor/Supervisor: Individuals, Couples

Pudsey, West Yorkshire, LS28

Nicola Hughes is a Creative Counsellor and Outdoor Therapist as well as a Supervisor and Trainer. She talks openly about the highs and lows of being a woman, a mother and wife. She's passionate about helping mums adjust to motherhood and live a balanced life.

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