Mum (and Dad) Guilt. What I'm now telling myself to beat it...

New Mums
By Lune + Wild Co-Founder
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Mum + Dad Guilt. Why do we get it? 
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We show up every single day to the toughest job in the world and give it our all. We never take a day off, the hours are relentless, and the moment something feels less than perfect... it strikes! A crippling feeling that you aren't doing well enough. You'd never be so hard on someone else, so why are we so cruel to ourselves?
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I recently went back to work after having my first baby. I've (perhaps crazily), chosen to start a new business in the middle of a pandemic. Some days it feels like I've bitten off more than I can chew, but my life feels more fulfilling now than ever before, so I'm not prepared to give it up. In this new busy chaos, I've noticed I've started to drop the ball a bit. The house is a tip, my baby regularly shows up to play dates in the park without a crucial item of clothing... and I'm almost always a little bit late. On top of this, I'm not taking very good care of myself. I drink way too much coffee, I never find time to exercise and I live exclusively on a diet of soup or eggs on toast. And no surprises, like almost every other mum I know, I'm dealing with a contestant internal critic that's pointing out all my shortcomings.
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This year has taught us that there is a lot that we can't control in life, but we can control the way we talk to ourselves. So I've decided to do something about the Mum Guilt. Here is what I am going to start telling myself...
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Outsource where you can. 
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You can't do it all and equality starts at home (wise words from Sheryl Sandberg)... so make sure your team are all pulling their weight too. Whether that's your partner, other family members or child care provider. They all have a responsibility for raising your baby, it doesn't all rest on you. 
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Carve out time for you
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Taking care of yourself is the very best example you can set to your children, and it doesn't mean you love them any less. Research shows that being a self-sacrificing 'martyr mum' can burden your child with feelings of guilt later in life. So let's break the cycle and not pass this mum guilt down to our sons and daughters, by showing them we care for ourselves and make time to do things that make us happy. (Glennon Doyle Untamed is a great read on this topic.)
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Make peace with your choices.
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Perfectionism is the enemy of peace. If we have high standards for absolutely everything, then it's an obvious outcome that we are going to spend at least some of the time feeling like a failure. Pick what's most important to you and don't worry about compromising on the rest. 
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And if ever in doubt, ask yourself 'Is my baby happy, healthy and does he/she feel loved?' If the answer is yes... then it's ok that I forgot to buy helium balloons for her birthday, she doesn't have clean socks to wear today, and she has food down her front. No one is judging me... they all have their own Mum Guilt to deal with too.

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