‘What do mums worry about?’ – it’s more like what don’t mums worry about?
Recent research by NUK has revealed the top thirty things that keep us up at night:
1. Being too busy to give my children more attention.
2. Not being able to afford everything they want.
3. Not going on more days out.
4. Not having more patience.
5. Relying on the TV to keep them entertained.
6. Not earning enough money.
7. Feeling too tired to give my kids the attention I think they need.
8. Returning to work after my maternity leave.
9. Working long hours.
10. Working late.
11. Telling my children off.
12. Wanting to have time away from my children every now and then.
13. Putting my child into nursery/childminder.
14. Not having more money to spend on new clothes/toys for my children.
15. Not being able to afford to go away on family holidays.
16. Wanting to go to work instead of being a stay-at-home mum.
17. Not having enough time or money to provide freshly cooked and healthy meals.
18. Arguing with partner in front of the children.
19. Spending too much time on housework.
20. Not going on holidays abroad.
21. Not going to enough baby/toddler groups.
22. Having to leave them with someone else to go to work during the school holidays.
23. Not helping more with homework.
24. Telling my children white lies to avoid having to answer difficult questions.
25. Feeding a baby formula milk.
26. Being a stay-at-home mum and not bringing in any money.
27. Leaving my baby to cry and self-soothe.
28. Sending my children off to school when they are poorly.
29. Checking work emails/taking work-related phone calls when at home with my children.
30. Not giving them a sibling.
The fact that we feel guilty about not being able to give our children more attention is in obvious number 1 worry, and many of our other worries stem from the notion that what we do for our children is just not good enough.
Choosing the responsibility to raise a child, to manage a life, is pretty massive and feeling inadequate to the job at hand is a normal parent feeling. The way to get past it is to learn to distinguish between our conscience nagging at a decision that deep down we know is not right (arguing in front of the children or spending too much time on housework or working long hours a little too regularly), and misplaced guilt (not wanting to be a stay-at-home mum, not going on holidays abroad). We need to listen to our internal dialogue with a discerning mind.
If our conscience is letting us know that we could be doing something in a better or different way, don’t ignore that voice but misplaced guilt is something that should be ignored – it merely obstructs our ability to excel as parents.
Every family is different and what works for one does not necessarily work for another – and that’s okay! Don’t judge yourself in comparison to others; rely on your moral code to guide your decisions. You probably won’t stop worrying (it’s part of being a parent) but you may worry that much less!
What is your number one worry as a mum?