The way I see it: The five stages of guilt every mother suffers
Journalist Bel Mooney believes mums blame themselves for everything. Here, she explains...
Amother’s guilt is a terrible and indiscriminate thing. It gets us all. Last month, the talented, hard-working TV presenter Fiona Bruce confessed she often feels she falls short on the mothering stakes when comparing herself to her own mother, who stopped work as soon as she had children. Now 54, and with her children aged 20 and 16, she revealed she still employs the same nanny she had when the children were babies.
While many women would envy the freedom the luxury of paid help has given her, others might say she can’t have been as involved in her kids’ development as more ‘ordinary’, stressed-out, mums. No doubt there’s a big part of Fiona that thinks so, too.
All working mothers, whether driven by career or necessity (or both), know the stresses of juggling childcare and work and balancing your child’s needs against your own. And, sooner or later, most of us wake in the small hours, consumed by anxiety… that we’ve missed out. With two children and a long career, I’ve felt that angst. Stay-at-home mothers feel it, too, for different reasons. Guilt follows you like a shadow, from your baby’s first kick in the womb to way beyond adulthood.
So, here are the five stages of Mother’s Guilt ...
‘Guilt follows you like a shadow’