The Guilt…

Last week I posted a blog post on ‘Comparisons‘ which seemed to resonate with so many people & I was quite overwhelmed with the level of response I received, as well as support from fellow anxiety sufferers that have otherwise been embarrassed to talk about the taboo subject of mental health.

I speak for myself when I say that sometimes it feels like we are alone in our feelings, but it cannot be further from the truth. You’ll be surprised how many people suffer from anxiety along with various other issues however chose to not disclose this due to social pressure….to feel ‘normal’ & again, picture perfect.

One of the things I spoke about in this post was my inability to spend genuine & quality time with my children as I always feel I have something ‘better to do’. What could possibly be better or more worthwhile than spending time with my children? I’m aware that the laundry can wait however can’t physically stop myself from finding things that need to be done or relax until I feel it has been done.

How many of us have to make sure everything has been washed up/put away, cushions plumped & everything in it’s place before we go to bed? Well I’m like that, but I feel that multiple times throughout the day which verges on impossible & ridiculous with two very young children & the hordes of toys that inevitably come with them.

I really struggle to sit down & do the ‘average’ things with my children such as playing because I feel like my time is better spent elsewhere. I constantly have a long list of things to do & even when I come to the end of that list, I’m adding more on in my head. I may spend 5 minutes sitting & practising walking with Rory, but then decide that the dishwasher needs emptying. I wish I could do more activities with Elsa like baking/painting/crafting but I end up getting anxious about the level of mess she makes & how slow everything is (obviously…she’s 2.5 years old!) .

I’m aware how awful it sounds but this is about being honest & breaking down those barriers. Don’t get me wrong, I’m 100%  aware that my children should always come first & that nothing is ever more important than them.

Which brings me on to GUILT….it’s been spoken about by pretty much every parent I’ve come across in some way, shape or form. We feel guilty over pretty much everything & this can be something that I think about hundreds of times a day.

If we work then we are ‘neglecting’ our children by putting them into nursery, if we don’t work we are lazy. If we feed our children organic vegetables we are health freaks, if we feed them chicken nuggets we are pushing them towards obesity. If we don’t let them watch TV we are too strict, if we let them watch too much TV we are bad parents. We can pretty much develop that feeling from every single aspect of being a parent & it isn’t nice. It can be all consuming.

At the end of the day, I’m pretty sure that if you asked somebody that you regarded as being a brilliant mother how she felt on a day to day basis, she’d experience ‘mum guilt’. Why? Because we are always so demanding upon ourselves to be better. It’s human nature & especially important to us as our children is the number 1 thing in every mothers life & the thing we can’t afford to get wrong.

We put so much pressure on ourselves to be something that is unachievable; perfection.

To any mother out there that experiences this; NOBODY is perfect, you may see ‘whatshername’ on Instagram showing off her child-genuis’ all in beautiful designer clothes, baking perfect looking cakes & painting pictures Picasso would be in awe of.
This isn’t real. I can guarantee those children throw tantrums like any other children & give that mother a mental breakdown multiple times a day. I can guarantee those lovely designer clothes get smeared in banana or have snot all over them after 10 minutes wear. I can guarantee that gorgeous picture of them smiling & posing you are sat envying, whilst your wild child is hanging from the light fitting, took 100+ attempts to get just right.

Please remember that just because you may plonk your little darling in front of Mr Tumble for an hours peace & quiet doesn’t make you a bad mother. Neither is feeding them chicken nuggets & chips or going back to work to provide for your family.

We are ALL doing an incredible job. Feel proud not guilty.

Love, Charlotte x


  1. February 26, 2016 / 1:54 pm

    Thank you. I have tears in my eyes. I see why you have such a following! You must be a lovely person to write so honestly and to try to make so many people feel a little bit less alone in their thoughts. ?

  2. February 26, 2016 / 8:12 pm

    Aww Jessie, that is such a lovely comment. I'm so glad you feel a bit less alone & in turn it makes me feel a bit less alone. We're all in this together Mumma xx

  3. February 27, 2016 / 9:56 am

    I can honestly relate to a lot of what you've discussed and it's so nice to hear another mum being honest about daily struggles of balancing home life with their child's needs, wants and demands.
    I'm trying my best to put Noah first but sometimes you have to be selfish and put your own needs first, otherwise you're no good to your children if your sitting there playing but your mind is elsewhere, so in fact its not quality time at all! If you give your children 10 minutes of dedicated focused time, I'm sure they would love that rather than an hour of you being distracted and not focused on them.
    Hey are children are fed, clothed, healthy, content and loved so we are obviously doing something right.
    Lots of love xx

  4. February 29, 2016 / 1:49 pm

    Love this! It feels like I could have written this or been talking to you about this too! Lol. I have only recently been stressing about what my daughter eats as she eats no fruit and not tons of veg but she loves crisps and I know how bad hey are for her but I also don't want to see her go hungry! It's tough being a mummy with all the pressure to be perfect so thank you �� Xx

  5. March 12, 2016 / 4:25 pm

    I'm not a parent so I can't comment on that side of things, but I have to say thank you so much for posting this at such perfect timing. I'm 23 and currently off my teacher training course with stress after a series of anxiety attacks and I feel so guilty! I have an amazing job lined up for September but I've just realised this profession really isn't making me happy but I feel like I'll let everyone down by leaving it to find something new, especially when I have no idea what else to do with my life! So anyway, thanks again for this post because I may not be in the same situation, but it's nice to know others struggle with this, so I can maybe try and be a bit less hard on myself!…Gabi x

  6. December 30, 2016 / 10:16 am

    God Charlotte. Thank you! Thank you so goddamn bloody much. I needed this. I needed to read that i'm not the only one that feels that way towards my child. I'm always pottering.. finding jobs to do.. and i constantly make myself feel guilty for basically 'creating' jobs to do rather than sit there and play with my child. I have no idea why i do it… I'm trying to stop it but like you.. I struggle to relax until everything is done…. unfortunately i dont have the answer. I'm still trying.. and being aware of what i'm doing now.. and now knowing its not just me!! All helps. So Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making me not feel like an alien! XXXXX

  7. December 30, 2016 / 10:21 am

    Oh lovely…it's so hard isn't it. Us mums put so much pressure on ourselves to be so 'perfect' in every aspect, if our house isn't clean then we've failed but if we've 'abandoned' our children to clean the house then we've failed. I wish I could say that I've found a 'cure' but unfortunately the only thing that's made me more laid back has been a health scare which changed my way of thinking. I'm now not as concerned if the house is a mess & don't put so much pressure to be the person I'm not xx