‘Mums constantly wracked with guilt’

Busy mom with two children works on laptop kitchen


Mums are constantly wracked by guilt – with not earning enough money or being able to give the children the attention they want featuring highly on the list of mum’s guilt triggers, according to a poll for babycare company NUK.

Being too busy or tired, not being able to afford everything the kids want and returning to work post-maternity leave also made the list.

Other issues which leave mums feeling bad include not going on more family days out, relying on the television to occupy children while doing housework and a lack of patience.

The study also revealed 87% of mums feel guilty at some point, with 21% admitting they feel this way ‘most’ or ‘all of the time’.

More than six in ten also said they feel guilty because of something someone else says, with other mums named as the biggest culprit.

Three quarters admit they put themselves under pressure with constant worries about whether they are a good enough mum.

The study of 2,000 mums found simply being too busy to give their children more attention or spend more time playing with them is most likely to leave mothers feeling guilty.

Not being able to afford everything their kids ask for came second, while not taking their family on more days out together was third.

Being impatient with their youngsters was in fourth place followed by relying on the TV to keep them occupied and not earning enough money.

Feeling too tired to give your kids the attention they need was at seven, while returning to work after giving birth came eighth.

Working long hours and staying late in the office completed the top ten.

Mums are also left feeling bad because they have to rely on a nursery or childminder to look after their children, want to go to work instead of being a stay-at-home mother and use formula milk instead of breastfeeding.

Not giving them a sibling, spending too much time and energy on the household chores and struggling to afford more holidays are also among the common guilt-triggers.

Their mother-in-law, their own mum, their partner and even their children are also responsible for some of the guilt, with 41% of mums claiming their children have said something to make them feel bad.

The study also revealed 76% worry about whether they are doing a good enough job of raising their children.

And seven in ten worry others judge them when it comes to what they do or don’t do with their children.

Three quarters also admitted they would like some more support, with 61% of those saying this would help to reduce the guilt they feel.

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