Sherry-Lee Smith – Psychologist Perth WA
I wrote this post after many conversations with mummy friends and mummy clients. I get the impression we all feel ‘mummy guilt’ at one time or another. I am usually the type of person that’s pretty good at fighting for my own needs (think unbelievably stubborn), but since becoming a parent I have a little child who also DEMANDS that her needs are met (WITHOUT DELAY! You know, as they do!). Being a working mum it has taken me some time to find the right balance between meeting my own needs and meeting her needs and the family needs. I felt incredibly guilty for going back to work and pursuing my own passions in my career. Then over time I felt like I still needed more for myself. I was watching other mums on social media who were getting fit, expanding their businesses, increasing their qualifications or following their dreams in other ways. For quite some time I felt envious of these ventures and that was enough to tell me that I needed something in my life to change. Our family, not knowing how we could fit one more thing into our seemingly impossible schedule, found a way to squeeze a little more ‘mummy me time’ in, in the form of yoga, the gym, mummy only coffee dates, or quite time for spiritual reflection. A couple of weeks after I made this a priority rather than a privilege I notice a major shift in myself and my capacity to give back to my family.
This lead me to my new mantra ‘ditch the mummy guilt’. It’s okay to feel guilty, we feel this way because we are good mums who are accustomed to giving everything we have to our families. However, we owe it to ourselves and our families to push through the mummy guilt and do anything, absolutely anything to fill your own ‘cup’. Whether that’s exercise, art, spiritual practices, further education, or business ventures, it doesn’t matter. It’s important for our children to see a happy fulfilled role model, a strong woman that follows her dreams and takes care of herself. After all isn’t that what we want for them. There is no job more demanding on a person than that of a parent. We deserve to be happy and fulfilled. By taking the time to meet our own needs and desires we will be a better partners and mothers. Don’t suppress the guilt, feel the guilt and walk right through it. Hear your soul sing as you realign yourself with who you really are and let that love flow right through you and back to your family. If you are feeling called to do something there is no time like the present. Go on, you can do it!
Sherry-Lee Smith is a psychologist, mother and gentle parenting advocate. She works in private practice in Mt Lawley, Perth WA. Sherry is available for consultations with children, adolescents and adults. If you would like further information about her services please click here.