How to manage 'mum-guilt' and reclaim your sense of self

Kinderling News & Features

I’m not great at talking about feelings. It makes me super uncomfortable. On a scale from one to ten where one is, “down a glass of wine and squash those gross emotions back down your gullet where they belong” and ten is, “discuss what you’re experiencing with insight, openness and clarity”, I am a three at best.  But the thing about having a baby is that suddenly you have so many more of these… feelings, and it becomes apparent (well, it did to me anyway) that by not sharing your experience you’re doing yourself and other women a disservice.

The experience of motherhood is more complex than I had ever imagined, and more challenging than I had ever imagined. And while it’s difficult to articulate the impact that it can have on a person’s sense of identity and experience of the world, I think we owe it to ourselves to at least try.

With this is mind, our latest episode of Bodyshock doesn’t focus on muscles, glands, tits or strange side-effects of pregnancy. Instead, we chatted to two women who are really good at talking about feelings about their respective experiences of motherhood.  Belinda Williams co-founded The Bumpy Road - a business that looks at the juggle of family and career. She’s a psychologist and mother of two tiny people. Jackie Lunn is an author, journalist and mum of two teens and a tween.

Bodyshock: Alice Fenton, with guests Belinda Williams and Jackie Lunn plus co-host Shannon O'Meara.

Together, they chatted to us about how having kids can change you, how to manage ‘mum-guilt’, how to reclaim your sense of self as a person, not just a mum, how to mitigate the boredom of being the stay-at-home parent when your baby is small, and many other wonderful things. I walked away from the interview feeling light on my feet: understood, unburdened and grateful for their wise words. Hopefully you’ll feel the same! Tune in below.