Women – powerful, brave, courageous, life givers.
We are all truly unique and special in so many ways, yet most of us (I include myself in this sentence) do not realise it. Surely it should be that as we grow older and wiser we develop and grow our inner confidence. For some that happens quite easily, however for me and so many others I found that from the moment I had my daughter an inner voice of doubt kicked in and consumed me. To be honest it has always been there. I’ve spent a lifetime dealing with self doubt, but it’s increased immensely since becoming a mother. It would appear that once we become mothers we question our choices and beat ourselves up over the decisions we make.
Take for instance one morning when I almost burst into tears after cancelling my plans to help my daughter’s class on their wood walk. I had a very extensive to do list, and naturally my daughter was a little upset that I would no longer make it, which then resulted in me feeling like the formidable wicked witch. How dare I put myself first? Am I a bad mother? I bet Ava-Lilly will be distraught. Then my husband - 'the voice of reason' - stepped in “You’re being ridiculous Kelly. She’ll be fine, you can not help everyone and be present for everything."
Now, that’s just one example; unfortunately I have a plethora of others.
Let's take the time I lost her at a Christmas fair after she went into a tunneled bouncy castle and never appeared at the other end. We found her, eventually, after what felt like an eternity but the whole experience kept me awake at night for months. Those feelings of “How could I have let this happen?” “What kind of mum am I to lose my little girl?" The guilt was enormous.
When my daughter was two I took a full time job as a Breakfast Presenter in radio. A job that consumed my life; was difficult, stressful and consequently led to some very unhappy times. Nothing made me unhappier then the feeling that I was not seeing my daughter enough, or should I say 'she wasn't seeing me' enough. I didn’t get the quality time with her that we both needed. When I left the job after nearly two years and fell pregnant with my second child I beat myself up that I wasn’t earning as much money and contributing to our household in the same way. I mean how ridiculous could I be? I just couldn’t win in my own head; I’d become my harshest critic.
Sometimes after the kids have gone to bed I sit and think about all the decisions made and how I could have done much more with them and I feel guilty if I’ve chosen to spend some time by myself. I know that this behavior and guilt has transferred over to my working life too. I have spent way too long constantly apologising to people, I say sorry for saying sorry, that’s just how ridiculous it’s become.
I have started to take ownership and a true account of my decisions and have realised just how sad it is that I carry around guilt with me daily that shouldn’t exist but I create it so therefore it does. As women, mothers and none mothers we constantly feel guilty about our choices. It has to stop. At some point we have to decide that we are fine with the choices we have made. We have to believe we are doing a great job as mothers, as women, and as human beings.
Overall, I do at times worry that guilt transfers onto my kids and I don’t want them to think life is about always feeling guilty over the things we have or haven't done. Life should be about celebrating the things we have achieved, it should be about accepting us for who we are.
Sometime I believe that everyone is judging me as a mum, as a woman as a person and the really sad part about that is I’ve come to realise the person judging me the most is me - and I am frankly too much and too harsh of a critic.
Kelly Pegg is from the UK. She is a mother and wife, Journalist, Broadcaster and Writer. Her personal blog is called Mum On the Radio where she writes honestly and from the heart about real life.