Mums The Boss – The Blog

How To Escape The Guilt Trap

Posted on: June 25, 2009

42-15654381As mums we beat ourselves up about a lot of things – what our children eat, how they behave, how much TV they watch – the potential for feeling guilty is endless. Add to the pot the added guilt that Work at Home Mums feel about not spending as much time with their family and you could be heading for guilt-overload.

Guilt is a state which occurs when you believe you have done something you shouldn’t, or conversely, when you haven’t done something you think you should – and so has the potential to pretty much affect most situations! But if it IS only a state of mind, then maybe a change in perspective is all that’s needed to turn guilt on its head.

Here are some ideas about how you can turn a guilty thought into a postive one:

I feel guilty for relying on my family to help out with childcare
You are giving your child the opportunity to form a really strong bond with their dad, grandparents, aunts, uncles etc. Your child will benefit from these close relationships and you can relax knowing your child is being cared for by someone you trust and by someone who loves them as much as you do. Plus you are saving money on expensive childcare which can be spent directly on the family or channelled back into your business, making the most of the money you earn.

I feel guilty for not spending more time playing with my child
You are teaching your child how to be independent and how to use their imagination and initiative to amuse themselves, qualities that will stand them in good stead in later life. Plus the time you do spend together will be extra special to both of you.

I feel guilty for spending time on a business that isn’t making any money yet
You are building the foundations for your business. A big house needs a strong foundation, and by getting that right from the beginning you stand a greater chance of success long-term. Plus it is widely recognised that very few businesses will see a profit in the first 12-18 months, so you are not alone!

I feel guilty for not keeping on top of all the housework
In the short term you are helping your family learn about teamwork and contribution, and also to appreciate the things they would normally take for granted. By sharing out the chores your children are learning valuable life skills and in the long term, when your business is more profitable, maybe you could afford to employ a cleaner!  Plus, you are helping to build up a strong immune system in your child – a spotlessly clean house is not necessarily a healthy one!

I feel guilty for not spending more time with my partner
If like a lot of WAHMs your working day begins once the children are in bed, you may not spend the evenings together with your partner like you used to. But thinking back, were you doing anything really special with that time, or just watching TV? Make sure when you do spend time together that you try and make it really special – remember it’s Quality not Quantity!

I feel guilty for thinking about work even when I’m having ‘time off’ with the family
Without your contribution to the family income there wouldn’t be so many treats, days out etc. Your work helps to provide a certain standard of living for your family and you should be proud of your financial independence and contribution

I feel guilty for inflicting my business concerns on my partner
Men are natual problem solvers and relish the opportunity to help. Give your partner credit for being interested and wanting to support you. If he seems disinterested when you are talking about your concerns it may be the ‘way’ you are speaking and not the subject matter. Men like to get straight to the point and solve the problem – if all you want to do is offload then maybe a girlfriend IS a better person to talk to.

I feel guilty for not being able to do everything!
Nobody can! And anyone who looks like they can is just a really good actress! You are doing the very best you can with your given set of circumstances, you are being human and falliable and brave and amazing and wonderful – and don’t ever forget it!

American journalist Arianna Huffington once said “While all mothers deal with feelings of guilt, working mothers are plagued by guilt on steroids!” So more than anyone you need to retrain the way you think and learn to see your situation from a different angle – it might take a little practice but it’s amazing what a shift in perspective can do!

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5 Responses to "How To Escape The Guilt Trap"

Guilt is a state which occurs when you have children…! Thanks for the help – it’s hard not to feel guilty…but I’m working on it x

[…] work at home mum. Leave a Comment Excellent article on how to avoid guilt as a mumpreneur – How to escape the guilt trap. The rest of the Mums The Boss blog is well worth reading […]

[…] Here are some ideas about how you can turn a guilty thought into a postive one: more […]

[…] a more serious note I found a lovely post on guilt and childcare that may be of interest Liked this post (or not)? Then please leave a comment Spread The […]

[…] Your Thoughts On a more serious note I found a lovely post on guilt and childcare that may be of interest Liked this post (or not)? Then please leave a comment Digg this!Share this […]

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