Fear of failure and mum guilt. Nasty feeling… Have you been there?
“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – This quote by Robert F. Kennedy stays with me every day (now, but it wasn’t always the case)!
I have experienced this fear of failure and mum guilt, for at least the first 10 years being a mum, and I know I am far from being an exception. What do you think mums, can you relate?
It was so bad, it was running my life, dictating my way to be a mum, influencing my decisions. It was actually killing my own personality without me noticing of course. Now it seems totally crazy to me, but I would let other people’s opinion make me feel guilty and make me scared of failing!
Unfortunately, I see this happening a lot. Mums not allowing themselves to blossom in their own truth because their personalities, believes or visions of motherhood do not fit right in “the box”. And let’s be honest, if it doesn’t fit into the box, you have failed… please feel guilty! Real mum guilt! (oh dear what was I doing to myself?)
But failing what and guilty about what?
It could literally be about anything and everything. Little things and big things but mostly about not being a good mum.
I had this silly idea that in order to be a good mum, everything would need to be perfectly made, organized and achieved. And only so I would not fail or not feel mum guilt. Was it working? Heck NO!
I was feeling guilty on every dollar I would spend on myself, guilty of working too much and missing out on my children, working not enough and having poor finances. I was even feeling guilty of sleeping in every now and then! “Bad mum, you’re not awake, perfectly groomed with breakfast on the table when kids are waking up! GUILT…. feel it!”
It would range from little things like sending the kids to school with a stained uniform, not having spent 10 hours minimum helping my child create the best outfit for the parade, to for example the biggest in my case… Taking time out for me. Yes, I had this silly (unconscious) idea that taking time for me was going to make me fail as a mum. I had to be on the job non-stop, relentlessly being dedicated to my kids and my husband.
If I would ever take a 5 minutes break, sitting on my couch with my cuppa, I could instantly sense it… This little feeling creeping in, a little voice in my head telling me “why are you sitting down you lazy bum? You have work to do, meals to cook and the vacuuming to finish before the kids get home from school, no time to be lazy!”
This feeling called G>U>I>L>T!
Of course, it wasn’t a healthy way to think and tackle motherhood
as I wasn’t feeling relaxed nor fulfilled in my own skin, let alone in my job as a mum or wife. YES, I said job (purposely!) Because this is how I was seeing things, it was my job. Sure the most beautiful one on the planet in my eyes, but still a job.
But why are we doing this, mums? This pressure is so destructive!
Could it be that we actually are allowing far too much importance to peer pressure, society’s (surreal) expectations, and other people’s opinions?
Could it be that in our quest to be equal to men, we women and mums, think it is our duty to have it all together at all times? Work AND family? And are totally forgetting about WHO WE ARE AS PERSON?
But was I forgetting something?
Clearly, I was lacking self-confidence and self-love.
I know this know because I have been on a self-development path for the last few years. And it is actually interesting to know that I got onto that path after a big professional and financial fail! Does everything happen for a reason, even a fail? I believe so, yes! Wow, let out the pressure here ladies… this means that even if I fail, I could be doing right by growing and learning from it? YES!
It feels to me crazy that I was blind to it for so long… but let’s not pressure ourselves here. We can only do so well with we what we know at that stage right? Life is about growing and finding our personal Legend, as would novelist Paulo Coelho say. (learn more about your personal Legend here)
Finding my personal legend (or purpose in life) has helped me grow into a better and stronger woman, wife, mum, entrepreneur and even becoming an author, understanding my mission as a mum more fully and deeply. Noticed I said MY MISSION (not my job)!
My mission is to help my children find their own Personal Legend (calling, purpose or however you want to call it)
it is not to make sure their world is perfectly perfect. I now understand that if I want them to be happy they need to learn to fail and use failure to their advantage. I want them to embrace failure and forget about guilt. I wish them to LIVE and not survive! Live actively every day of their life, living a life they love and, be living a purposeful life!
Therefore, “Leading by example” are the words coming to my mind right now. Showing them that I care, respect and love myself enough to be ME, just ME. A ME that doesn’t fit in a box nor has to measure to some supposed rules.
Me in my world, loving myself, being fulfilled and happy whatever my choices are. Me going for my dreams and supporting them in theirs! Me nurturing myself…
Hey Mums! Forget about guilt, it doesn’t make you better nor makes you grow as a person!
Instead, accept difference, imperfection and even failure. Don’t be scared! Ditch guilt and – “Be your own kind of beautiful” – only so will you succeed to overcome mum guilt and feel truly happy. Fulfilling your Personal Legend is the best example to give your children. Love yourself, treat yourself, reward yourself, push yourself, believe in yourself, spend money on yourself, take breaks and love life!
About the Author:
Natascha is firstly a wife and mum of 3 living in Queensland Australia, but also a passionate online entrepreneur and author.
Natascha’s passion is to share the message of Living a Life of Purpose.
Her mission is to help other mums create more freedom to live their dream life while becoming healthier and happier!