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Getting Rid Of The Mum Guilt

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As a single mother of two, the mom guilt is an all-too-familiar feeling. From managing a clean house, teaching kids about my Ethiopian culture, helping them with their homework regularly and driving them after school while still trying to excel in my career and maintain my sanity at the same time. There are hundreds of mums out there who are also battling with this guilt. We feel guilty that we are not trying hard enough or that we are missing some of the special moments in our children’s lives. Other times, the guilt centers on trying to keep everything balanced but not getting there. Here are some tips on how you can get rid of the guilt and balance it all up.

Understand that there will always be sacrifices and compromises

The first step is achieving some level of understanding. You need to understand that as a single mother, you will have to combine motherhood with a career, and this requires sacrifices. Get rid of the notion of trying to be a superwoman. Instead, make a priority list of those things that are the most important to you. For example, when it’s time to drive your children to school, make use of this rare bonding time to get some updates on what is going on in your children’s lives. Ask questions about their friends, how they are coping at school and drop in some significant morale booster for the day.

Give yourself some career motivation

What is that thing that gets you up every morning for work? What motivates you? No doubt, the primary incentive about working is the financial aspect and also the feeling that you are making a meaningful contribution to the lives of your children. So, when you are getting the blues and tending towards your mum’s guilt, do a quick review of why you are pursuing your career and what it means to you personally. There is nothing wrong with having some ambition.

What does it mean to be a great parent?

There is no major manual about parenthood as it doesn’t always conform to the same rules. However, being a great parent lies in how well you can be there for your children. Yes, you need to take out some bonding time but as a working mother, providing for their needs is also paramount. Being originally from Ethiopia, I try to teach my children the Ethiopian culture, which includes Amharic, and its written script Ge’ez. There are lots of helpful books and audio materials that will help you do it right. Slowly but surely, your children can be able to learn your culture through you.

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Don’t be afraid to take some “me” time

Because of the mum’s guilt about not being there for your children, a lot of mothers do not take out that necessary “me” time. If you can’t do it daily, at least get some personal time in weekly. You don’t have to do something extravagant but just a time where you get to wind-down and appreciate yourself. Having some space just for yourself works wonders when it comes to feeling invigorated for a new day or task ahead. Managing the home, working and raising kids are all energy-consuming tasks, and it’s okay to “recharge”.

Put fun time on your schedule

There is something about having a program for activities. It puts life into it and helps you plan correctly. This could be weekly or monthly. All you have to do is set out a day where you get to laugh or generally be goofy with your kids. You can let them suggest fun places to visit or make it a general decision. Either way, the purpose is to create relaxation time where everyone is carefree and happy.

Let your kids talk to you

Another thing about mum guilt is that you may be worried about the wrong things. The best way to know is to ask your kids. Let them tell you if they think you are not spending enough time with them or if they want to go out more. Excellent communication has always opened a lot of doors and closed irrelevant ones. Asking for feedback could be scary as you don’t know what to expect, but the smiles when it is all over makes it all worthwhile.

The truth is, we may never fully get over the mum guilt, but these are practical ways to make yourself feel a whole lot better.

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Getting Rid Of The Mum Guilt. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved September 28, 2023, from
“Getting Rid Of The Mum Guilt.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
Getting Rid Of The Mum Guilt. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 28 Sept. 2023].
Getting Rid Of The Mum Guilt [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2023 Sept 28]. Available from:
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