The Guilt Trip

As mums, we spend a lot of time feeling guilty, when we probably shouldn’t. We feel guilty for feeling tired, for wanting to eat a meal that hasn’t gone cold, for wanting a couple of minutes of silence. We shouldn’t feel guilty for those things – they’re not a lot of ask for, but we push them aside in favour of holding our babies when they’re crying or doing the laundry because we’ve run out of clothes.

Since we’ve got plenty of self-created reasons to feel guilty, we really don’t need anyone else to give us more. I’m not even going to get into what parenting “experts” tell us what we should or should not be doing. That is way too long a story to be telling here, and isn’t really the kind of guilt trip that I’m talking about.

You know how, when you’re walking through the shopping centre or coming out of the train station, and you are suddenly accosted by someone trying to get supporters for a charitable cause? You feel obliged to stop and listen, don’t you? At least, I do. I stop when I can and I listen, even if I can’t support the cause for whatever reason. But, to be honest, I hate feeling like I have to. I’m not a stingy person, I like supporting charities and other non-profit projects. I’ve even been involved in running some myself. So why should I feel guilty that I need to catch my train on time, or grab something to eat on my not-exactly-long lunch break, or that I don’t have a bottomless bank account reserved for donating to charity?

Generally, when I get a death stare as I hurry past, I tell myself that I do my bit and have nothing to feel guilty about. But recently, I’ve come across a new guilt-inducing phenomenon. More than once, I’ve hurried past a stall in the shopping centre while on my way to the parents room to feed my crying baby, only to be given the kind of look that says “you should be ashamed for not stopping to hear about my cause”. But, why? Why should I feel guilty for wanting to comfort my child and make sure he is probably nourished? (That’s a rhetorical question.)

This brings me to the other thing that doesn’t make sense to me about this whole thing. As if it isn’t bad enough that we are silently judged for not stopping, we are made to feel guilty for not being financially able to support a cause. I practically had to argue with the last guy that accosted me because he wouldn’t take “I’m on maternity leave and have no income” as an answer. Instead he started asking: “What about your partner, are they earning at the moment? You don’t have to give a lot, even just five dollars a week would really help!” I give regularly through my workplace giving program – when I’m actually working – and have done plenty of one-off donations to various causes; so, again, I shouldn’t feel guilty. But I do. Yes, even though five dollars a week isn’t much, this guy was completely missing the point.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve had enough of feeling guilty. We mums do a good job of making ourselves feel guilty as it is; we don’t need people making us feel like we’re not enough. So the next time you feel a guilt trip coming on, remind yourself just what a great job you’re doing of being a mum!

Mini Mummi Blogger 🌺

About The Author

Mini Mummi Blogger

Mini Mummi Blogger is a first time mummy to a beautiful baby boy. Currently on maternity leave, she is looking to put her writing/publishing experience to good use through her blog, helping other mummies navigate through the wealth of often conflicting (and, sometimes, even discouraging) information out there about pregnancy and motherhood. She believes that every mummy knows what’s best for her own baby – even first time mums!

15 COMMENTS

  1. and Jacob makes three | 1st Sep 17

    Argh I hate that. I always feel really guilty too, but if I gave money to every charity I’d be bankrupt! #Blogstravaganza

  2. thetaleofmummyhood | 2nd Sep 17

    Mum guilt is the worst! It’s hard to do but I think it’s best to let it go! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx

  3. Liberty on the Lighter Side - (LoLS) | 4th Sep 17

    I don’t know if we ever stop questioning ourselves even when our kids are adults, guilt is a good thing only if it spurs us onwards towards better things! All the best with your blog 🙂 #blogstravaganza

  4. Liberty on the Lighter Side - (LoLS) | 4th Sep 17

    You’re welcome

  5. Peachy | 7th Sep 17

    I have encountered the same kind of argument from people wanting my money and when that happens any sense of guilt turns off immediately. That’s a huge turn off for me and I never give money to anyone who is pushy about it. Thanks for joining #Blogstravaganza. Hope to see you again.

    • Mini Mummi Blogger | 7th Sep 17

      Thanks!

      Yeah, I don’t either (but I do feel guilty!). The other thing I hate is when they try to prescribe how much you give – do they want money or not? 😕

  6. The Muddled Mum | 27th Oct 17

    You are much more patient than I am – I never stop and listen! Like you, I give to charity but I won’t be forced or coerced into it. My tactic is to avoid eye contact and keep on walking (at speed!)

  7. Suzie @ Cinnamon Sunrise | 27th Oct 17

    I just tell them I don’t support charities that use chuggers and move on. It’s actually better to not stop and listen if you can’t/won’t give because it ends up wasting their time – so don’t feel guilty about it!

    • Mini Mummi Blogger | 1st Nov 17

      I hadn’t thought of that! I do try to tell them I can’t right at the beginning, but they just talk over me … gotta get more assertive! Thanks for reading x

  8. wanderlustandwetwipes | 29th Oct 17

    Tbh I fee less guilty for it now than I did – a crying baby is more than enough cause to rush past whereas before I felt I had no good reason for not stopping! Mum guilt is the worst.

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