The Women's Vault

Is Mum Guilt making you feel disheartened, sad and frustrated? You’re not alone.

From morning to lights out, our days are punctuated with guilt: from our kids not eating enough breakfast to too much screen time as they wait for us to get ready for work, to difficult nursery drop-offs, to questioning if we should even be at work or instead doing Monkey Music with our child, to yet again fish fingers for dinner and snapping when your child won’t get out of the bath.

We are wracked with Mum guilt: it takes up precious energy and is holding us back, whether we are a professional Mum or stay-at-home Mum. It’s stopping us from being content, fulfilled and confident.

I know this because of my own experiences, too. The first time I experienced Mum guilt was when I went back to work from mat leave in 2019 and suddenly I realised that I wanted to be in two places at once; I wanted to be with my son, George, and I wanted to be doing a job I loved. I didn’t know about the hidden guilt amongst working parents. Since then, for me, the Mum guilt has continued.

But, there is a different way. You don’t HAVE to feel Mum Guilt. What could you achieve in your life if you could overcome this obstacle? Just take a moment to think about that.

How much is Mum Guilt Affecting You?

Take The Women’s Vault Women’s Vault Guiltless Mum quiz to determine if mum guilt is holding you back - once you’ve taken the quiz, you’ll get access to complimentary tools and resources to help support you to become a #GuiltlessMum.

Illlustration by Paula Kuka

Head to the Quiz

It’s never been harder to be a working parent

Women today are spending more time today with their children than their grandmothers did - and this is true for women that work.

Employed mothers in 2000 spent the same amount of time interacting with their children as non-working mothers did in 1975 (as cited in Career Advice for Ambitious Women by Financial Times by Mrs Moneypenny).

Yet, so many of us are consumed with feelings that we aren’t doing enough - either for our children or at work; women are so often expected to work like they don’t have children and raise children like they don’t work

Illlustration by Paula Kuka

So, why is it important for women to feel guiltless?

Because it’s holding us back personally and professionally, making us miserable in the process.
Three in four mothers with dependent children work in the UK.

With the cost of living skyrocketing, paid work is more essential than ever for many parents. And so, work-related guilt must be tackled - we all have enough to deal with, without adding guilt into the mix.

Often we compare to ourselves others or to things we see on social media.

This can create feelings of inadequacy that are often based on unrealistic depictions or expectations of motherhood.

When women go back to work, we are already at a disadvantage.

The Motherhood Penalty shows that the pay gap among mothers gets worse consistently for 12 years after the first child is born, by which point women receive 33% less pay per hour than men. 

We are also less likely to get promoted than men are - they typically have a new promotion or better job within five years after having a baby.

Many of us are already exhausted from all of the juggling.

We don’t need to add guilt into the mix, when we are already so stretched.

We are distracted in meetings, overwhelmed with the mental load that we carry.

Because we are generally having children later, this all comes at a time when we may want to be forging ahead with our careers.

Mum guilt can also make you feel angry and short tempered.

It’s no wonder, when so many of us are close to breaking point.

My view is that Mum guilt is holding us back from achieving great things and from being happy and confident. It is making us pretty miserable. I want to help working mothers overcome their mum guilt once and for all.

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