Mums often find themselves under pressure to ‘have it all’ and be everything to everyone, often putting their own needs at the bottom of the pile. We may feel that pressure to be perfect from social media, seeing mums who seem to be juggling everything with such ease.
This can lead to a sense of feeling that we’re not good enough, and are falling short, when the reality is none of us have the perfect balance and parenting is often messy. We are all making compromises and don’t get it right everytime.
That guilt we feel isn’t helpful—it’s not teaching us anything or challenging us to grow as parents. The truth is as parents we always put ourselves last and find ourselves pouring from an empty cup when, in truth, we need some time carved out for ourselves in order to feel refreshed and be the best parent for our children. Having time away is important for our mental health, and keeping a sense of perspective.
Spending time apart from our children is nothing to feel guilty about, and yet this guilt is often what stops us from finding a babysitter and continuing to do the fun things we enjoy. Relying on childcare isn’t something we should feel bad about or shy away from talking about. It’s quite the opposite in fact.
Here are 3 tips on how to overcome the mum guilt we carry when it comes to finding a babysitter and seeking childcare:
1. Allow your feelings of mum guilt to pass
This tip comes from the world of mindfulness, and is essentially a reminder that feelings are transient, so yes you might feel guilty in that first moment you think of booking a babysitter, but this will pass just as all feelings do. Whenever you feel a pang of guilt, try breathing in and out slowly, and allowing the feeling to flow through you. It can be helpful to repeat the phrase ‘this too will pass.’ This will remind your conscious mind that all feelings are transient (in fact this is a good parenting practice for whenever you’re feeling overwhelmed).
2. Talk to other parents about childcare and realise you’re not alone
Guilt can be a very isolating emotion. Our inner critic will lead us to believe we’re the only mum afraid of being judged for finding a babysitter, but once you open up to other parents you’ll discover that we’ve all felt this same guilt at one time or another. As parents it’s our jobs to worry so of course the same rings true when it comes to booking a babysitter and sorting out childcare. Guilt is common and will always be there, because we want the best for our children no matter what. We’ve all forgotten a dress up day at school, or gotten our child late for a class assembly, or lost our temper when our toddler was acting up—but those moments we’re all guilty of don’t define us as parents. These are all normal parenting events, and once you realise that guilt is commonplace you’ll feel much better!
3. Release yourself from guilt over finding a babysitter
Rather than focus on the guilt itself, think of all the reasons why you might be feeling guilty. Is it that you’re unsure of the babysitters’ qualifications? Or would you prefer it if you could talk to another parent who’s used the sitter first? You can do all these things and more to help quell those anxious thoughts of yours. One of the benefits of using the Bubble childcare app is that it was created by parents who have gone through the same hurdles of parent guilt, and want just as much as you do to know that their children are in safe hands when they need to find childcare.
When finding a babysitter with Bubble you can browse through a range of sitter profiles filtered by qualifications, read reviews from other parents and even give their references a call. You can also get a sense of each sitters’ interests, skills and childcare approach in their profile, so that you can choose a sitter that works best for your child’s temperament and personality. Finally, you can arrange to meet them ahead of time or schedule a call so when the time comes for you to make your childcare arrangements, you leave feeling reassured that you’ve made the right choice.
With Bubble, there’s no need to feel guilty about finding a babysitter or choosing whatever type of childcare works best for you. Join the thousands of parents who’ve ditched the mum-guilt and start enjoying all the things that make you you again.