Mum Guilt is not a new phenomenon, nor is it one that is being quietly ignored from all corners. Recently there has been a trend of mother’s yelling from every platform about how utterly shite it is that we feel guilty at every turn. Nothing we do is ever enough and the guilt that is felt for that very reason is horrid.

For me there’s been a new reason for Mum Guilt recently though – not feeling guilty…

Take a scroll through Instagram this weekend and I guarantee somewhere you will find a mum who’s away for the weekend for one reason or another, without her children. There’s a high chance that somewhere on her feed she’s professed her guilt and sadness that she’s off doing something fun for herself rather than spending another Saturday morning in a sweaty soft-play centre. I read these and I can’t help but question her, and then myself. I don’t believe she can really feel that guilty. Because I wouldn’t…

Then comes the spiral of Mum Guilt… Should I feel more guilty when I leave TI to go away on my own? This time last year I was in Italy just me and Matt having the time of our lives. Nearly two years ago I went up to London for 10 days to hang out with friends and drink the city dry. Tomorrow we’re heading home while she stays at my mum’s for a couple of days, just because. I of course miss her when I’m away from her for more than a few days but I never felt guilty for leaving her with my mum while I went off and had my own life. But should I have?!

I know I’ve got more experience of time away from her than parents who live under the same roof as their child’s father. From when she was tiny she was going away once a month and that has gradually grown to the every other weekend she does now. Occasionally she’s gone for longer. The first few times it sucked, and I still miss her massively now, but I know that she sometimes has to have time away from me to spend time with the rest of her family.

I of course felt the pangs of guilt when she would cry at nursery drop-off when she was little, but I also knew that she would be fine after five minutes and being there was the best thing for her (for us, so I could work/get a degree). My heart strings are definitely pulled at when I say goodbye to her, whether for one night or seven. But I don’t then go on to spend the entire time I’m away feeling like a terrible parent and wanting to phone just to check in.

Time away from your children is something I think is so important. Whether that’s a date night where you don’t have to get home to relieve the sitter or a sneaky holiday with your best friends it’s so vital to your sanity to have time being you. I’ve seen a lot of posts recently declaring that motherhood does define them, and they’re ok with that. That’s great, and to an extent I definitely agree, you cannot be unchanged by motherhood. But you can be defined by having a child and still go and scream down a karaoke microphone until 2am.

For me having the occasional weekend, or week, away is essential to not only my sanity but my ability to feel like myself. This is going to change dramatically soon with the new addition and not having every other weekend child-free, but I will still be utilising those grandparents to ensure I can have my times to drink champagne and dance on tables. That’s just who I am, and no amount of Tiny Idiots is going to change that.

I know she’s safe and looked after with my mum, and I know how much she craves time just the two of them. She probably has more fun with her nanny than she ever would with me. Time apart is good for both of us.

So I don’t feel guilty for having fun without my child.
But I feel guilty for not…

And really, look at this face waving me off to London for a weekend, does she look devastated? If anything I should probably feel guilty about coming home again…

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