Mum guilt​


You know this nagging feeling when you are spending time apart from your baby? The feeling of guilt that might come over you when you invest in a babysitter just to do something for yourself? The often painful decision to leave your child to daycare to go back to work. In this article, I want to introduce you to the concept behind called mum guilt. You will learn that it is universal and you will learn how changing your approach on HOW you spend time with your kid can make all the difference.

What is mum guilt? A definition

Mom Guilt is the feeling of guilt, doubt, anxiousness, or uncertainty experienced by mothers when they worry they’re failing or falling short of expectations in some way. For many moms– particularly new, working, or single moms– the variables that contribute to this phenomenon are numerous and intense.

Mum guilt - a universal phenomenon

The reason why group coaching is so powerful is the realization that your problems are not totally unique and other mums have similar feelings and challenges. Exchanging stories, opening up to others help us to gain some perspective. It enables us to get to a more neutral point of view and not feel stuck in the emotional rollercoaster we call motherhood.

Several studies deal with the nagging feeling of mum guilt and they all prove one point: It’s universal. Mums all around the world have times of doubt when they question whether they are doing enough.

The platform GOODTOKNOW asked 900 mums in 2017 about mum guilt. 78% of mums revealed that they feel guilty, with 68% saying this occurred once or twice a day. Mostly the reason for feeling guilty is not spending enough time with the baby.

NUK (the Baby bottle company) has even asked 2,000 mums. 55% mums felt guilty for wanting a career and 61% of mums felt guilty for not spending enough time with the kids. 66% of mums asked felt guilty for wanting me-time and 34% feel guilty because they could not afford things for the baby.

If you want to go deeper check out the GoodToKnow Study here and the NUK study here.

The question is: What is ENOUGH?

The recurring statement in most of the studies out there is: I feel guilty because I am not spending ENOUGH time with my child/children.
The question is: How do we define ENOUGH?

In the almost global concept of motherhood, women are seen as the primary caregiver. The one with the expertise. The one that is called when the child is crying in childcare and the one who can fix everything. There is this certain expectation that being a mum comes naturally to you and that you should love being a mum 24/7. However, the big secret is that mums are also human. As humans, mums also only have a certain amount of energy available for the day. We all know that there is a difference in getting things done, and getting things done with care and joy.

It is also a fact, that the societal pressure can be a lot and even more troubling: The societal standard on how to be a good mum can never be met. For some you are a bad mum when going back to work, for others you are a bad mum when deciding to stay home. Either way, you can’t please everyone. Accepting this fact and understanding its meaning in all its consequences will set you free! What sounds cheesy, is actually an often long process of learning, set-backs, and realization.

"There is this certain expectation that being a mum comes naturally to you and that you should love being a mum 24/7."

Take some time to reflect on that: What would I define as ENOUGH time with my kids? Try to ignore what your mother-in-law, your best friend, your neighbor, your Instagram feed tell you. What feels right for YOU? Be brave enough to listen to yourself!

Not being a good enough mum,

not spending enough time

not investing enough energy into your career…

All these ENOUGHS are very vague feelings. A vague feeling makes us feel insecure and provokes the emotion of not doing it right. The more you define what you mean with ENOUGH you will be able to create an action plan.

Ask yourself:

Is it about the quantity of time?
Is it about quality?

Try to be as precise as possible and listen to your gut: What would make me feel better?

The power of group coaching for mothers

That’s the beauty of coaching for me: It enables me to provide mums like you the space to listen to themselves and reflect. Something we hardly ever do in our hectic life. While we are all so busy we have time enough to bath in this nagging feeling of mum guilt but we seldom take the time to pause and reflect. But the truth is: We have to pause and reflect to create change.

If you want to know more about the group coaching sessions for mums go here and you will find some further information. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly (, and when I should let you know about the next starting dates for our sessions sign-up to this email list to be informed first. Groups are only 3-4 people so they are filling up soon.

Kate from Share the Love, expat, expat wife, expat life

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