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  • Sam Swann

Why do we feel guilty about relaxing or making time for ourselves?

Why do I feel guilty when I lay-in?

These are questions I find I ask myself quite a lot. I work 3 days a week, in quite a stressful job, and I try to balance my work/home/wife/children/friend/exercise life at the same time. I’m not one for making time for self-care. I can’t remember the last time I had a nice, relaxing bath. When I’m home I feel like I need to be doing something – housework, paperwork or doing educational things with the kids.

I’m not a good morning person, and I never have been. You ask my parents and they will say that I have never been the easiest or happiest first thing in the morning. So these days when I have my days off I want to stay in my bed as much as possible. I’m one of these (probably annoying) people that even if I wake up at 6am I can just dose or just lay there for a couple of hours and not be bothered about getting out of bed……. well my husband is the polar opposite. Once he is awake he needs to get up. So on my days off, like this morning, I didn’t get out of bed until 7.30am. Megan is currently sleeping in our room on the floor and didn’t wake up until about 7am (long story, but if you would like me to write about it I will) and Lucas woke up at 7.25. When I know I don’t really have to get up to anything I will lay in bed, but boy, does by brain work on overtime. This morning I woke up when Mark got up at 6.30 and these are the thoughts that ran through my brain:

“I should really get up and do some exercise, or at least yoga”, “I should get up and empty the dishwasher as I didn’t do it last night” and “I could get up and have a cup of tea in silence before the kids wake up”. Of course I didn’t do any of those things, but I bloody felt guilty for it!

Why do I do this to myself? Why do I feel I am not worthy of just relaxing in bed? But I woke up to this lovely note from my husband about our new car (see photo below) which meant I could drive my new car today, which I was very excited about.

I think it’s because I’m a mum and a wife and I work. I feel there is always something I should be doing, there is always something more important than me – I give advice to clients at work and to my friends, that if you can’t look after yourself then how can you look after 2 little people, especially in the holidays, but I don’t take my own advice. I need to work on ditching the ‘mummy guilt’. I had some amazing advice and support from a great Mindfulness Parent Consultant, which helped me to focus on my parenting, but I still cannot get rid of this guilt.

I have a lot riding on September. For me this is when my youngest starts school and I would like to be organised, prepared and chilled about it all. Well watch this space as to whether I do it and still feel chilled come the end of September.

Maybe ‘The School Mum’s Notebook’ will help ……..

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