Tip Of The Day: Ditch The Guilt

26/05/2009 05:11 | Updated 22 May 2015

If there is one piece of advice I would give to fellow working mothers, it's this: ditch the guilt.

Contrary to popular belief, when you delivered that baby, no one inserted a big package of guilt in its stead.

I know it may feel that way sometimes, especially when you're exhausted by being pulled in all directions, and neither work nor family are getting the best of you.

You will make life so much easier for yourself if you decide to live it guilt-free.

But isn't that easier said than done? Not neccessarily, and here's how.

1. Ditch the guilt.

Just drop it right there. And you can leave the worry behind while you're at it. Feeling guilty does not have to be an inevitable part of parenting.

When parents talk about not having enough time to do things, I think the real issue is not so much time as energy. You can achieve more in less time if you have the energy to do so. And what are two of life's biggest energy-sappers? That's right, our old friends guilt and worry.

Make a positive choice not to feel guilty about anything. If you do something you're not happy with, decide to do it differently. Ask yourself: am I doing the best I can for myself and my children right now? Don't waste your time and energy feeling guilty about not being some kind of mythical supermum. That will never be you, because she doesn't exist.

Focus on being the best version of yourself that you can be, and accept that that will inevitably involve being a bit rubbish sometimes. We're all a bit rubbish sometimes. It doesn't make us bad parents.

2. Accept that change is inevitable.

Your tiny angel baby will morph into a stroppy teenager before your eyes. Just when you think you've got childcare sorted, somebody gets ill. And just when you've got family life sorted, you have another child.

Dealing with unexpected changes can leave many parents feeling wrung out at both ends. Just take a deep breath and go with it when life sneaks up behind you and yells 'Surprise!'

Don't fear what life may throw at you - trust yourself that you can deal with whatever comes.

3. Don't juggle, dance!

Yes, I could give you the same old chestnuts about delegating, better time management etc but the bottom line is this: don't juggle, dance. Juggling always looks to me like a very stressful thing to do - constantly keeping your eye on the ball, permanently poised in case everything collapses. And of course those balls always do fall in the end.

Dancing is about moving through life and accepting change with grace, reacting to what's happening and keeping moving. Dancing is a lot easier than juggling. And like parenting, it gets better with wine ((only joking)).

Suggest a correction