The Mammy Guilt

Mammy guilt is a phrase that is now being bandied around regularly, possibly ignited by the fact that the pressure on mammy’s these days is huge. But what is Mammy Guilt exactly? And why do we let ourselves fall prey to it?

Picture this: a well kept, warm and inviting home. The smell of dinner hits your nostrils as you walk in the door. The children are occupied quietly with homework or various arts and crafts. Not an electronic media device in sight. Mummy is effortlessly gliding across the kitchen, apron on, broom in hand, smile on face……Now, lets add on 6 decades and see the contrast between the 1950’s and present day. Well, it would be easier to draw comparison – there is a house, kids and a mum. Everything else is rather different.
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When we think of Mammy Guilt, we think of the mother that hates leaving her kids on a Saturday because she has been at work all week. But this well known guilt trip has evolved. Mothers today are under so much pressure, whether they work full time at home or full time with an employer. One thing both parties have in common is the need to have everything perfect when it comes to raising a family. I have been on both sides of this and have felt the Mammy Guilt in a number of instances:

  • Classic Mammy Guilt – while working full time, any weekend activity that did not involve me spending time with the kids made me feel terrible.
  • Shopping Mammy Guilt – I go to Penny’s to pick up a few bits for me and come home with socks plus 2 bags full of toddler outfits and babygrows. They needed a few bits. Again.
  • Television Mammy Guilt – the baby is crying, the toddler is moving around the sitting room like a mini tornado. I do the unthinkable and turn on the TV so that I can dunk some biscuits into tea. And yes, the baby is looking at it to.
  • Nutrition Mammy Guilt – I fed my toddler a ready made meal. I let my toddler have a sugar loaded juice. My toddler sometimes has a dinner plate that does not contain colours because I am too shattered to get creative in the kitchen.
  • Nappy Mammy Guilt – yep, he’s been in that nappy far too long.
  • Angry Mammy Guilt – I’ve lost it with my toddler and shouted and felt horrible afterwards. I’ve asked the 3 week old baby with the hell she just keeps on crying. And felt quite stupid afterwards.

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There are so many situations, the above are a few honest ones of mine. These days we are overloaded with books on how to raise nutritionally sound, socially adept children; all developmental milestones are hit within a certain timeframe and they don’t see the TV until they are 18 years old. If we so much as stray from this hard and fast rule book, we beat ourselves up and worse yet, judge each other for not maintaining the standard. This is where the guilt comes from – we put the pressure on ourselves.

Motherhood is a rough ride – there are a fair few bumps along the way and it is not possible to be perfect. You will forget to give him lunch on time. You will lose the plot and shout. You need to go out with the girls and let loose on a Friday and feel like crap the next day. You will not have time to sit and interact and play games all day. And you will let the TV do some babysitting sometimes. Its called life, and we must live our own and not judge others for how they live theirs.

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In the words of two famous Craggy Island parishioners – careful now, down with this sort of thing! Mammy Guilt is not good.

Here is my antidote for dealing with Mammy Guilt:

Each day I will do my absolute best to care for my family.

I wont get everything right, but I will learn along the way.

I will take care of myself.

I will hug each one of my kids tight each night and tell them how much I love them.

Before I close my eyes to sleep, I will be proud of myself and the family I have produced.

I am so lucky.

I am a wonderful Mum.
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My Baby Scan – The MD Clinic

Having a baby is a nerve racking time – from the day you conceive there is constant worry about your little peanut. Are they ok? Are they healthy? Are they developing normally? You would think as a third time mum, this worry would have eased somewhat. But I worried over my third as much as any.

There is nothing more reassuring than seeing your little one on a baby scan. The first time you see their heart beating, their arms and legs stretching – it’s an amazing feeling. And most importantly, it helps to take the worry away. The current situation with Irish Maternity services (or lack there of) only adds to the stress. I could not believe it when my 20 week scan was delayed to 29 weeks! This was later amended however it just made me lose confidence in the care that I would receive. That and the fact that no anomaly scan would be offered to me. After my blog post highlighting the issue, I was contacted by the MD Clinic on the Watercourse Road, Blackpool who kindly offered me a Reassurance Scan.

There are very few private clinics in Cork that offer Maternity Scans and the MD Clinic is the only one north side of the city. They are one of only 2 that offer an anomaly scan – which given the current demand is surprising. By far, one of the biggest advantages of this clinic is their opening hours. I was able to have my scan on a Sunday, which meant no babysitters needed to be organised! Not that the little people are not welcome – there is a play area provided for busy bees! Free parking also adds to a stress free service.

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The clinic itself is state of the art – professional, welcoming and well organised. They offer a range of services under one roof including GP, Dental, Physiotherapy and Orthopaedic to name but a few. On my arrival I was pleasantly greeted and seen for my scan immediately – yep, no 3 hours waiting and waiting and waiting.

Reassurance Scan

My gynaecologist was the perfect combination of high expertise and professionalism. I was made to feel like the only pregnant woman in the world, I didn’t feel rushed and all my questions were answered in detail. The Reassurance scan surprised me with the level of detail – it actually was similar to the anomaly scan I received previously on the public system. Baby was measured from top to toe. The picture was so clear that baby even gave us a little close up of the face…..a moment that actually made me melt! The ultrasound machine is so advanced that the option of finding out the sex of the baby was available to me – at only 16 weeks! Did I find out? Well that would be telling…. 🙂

Memories to keep

On this occasion my husband was not able to attend, and after seeing the detail that the scan went into I regretted it a little. So I was delighted when my gynaecologist presented me with not only some snapshots of baby but a DVD full of pictures from the entire scan plus a sound recording of my baby’s heartbeat. It may have looked like the Starship Enterprise to him, but hubby and I enjoyed sitting down when the kids were gone to bed, watching our impending arrival on the big screen at home.

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Given that I, like thousands of others here in Ireland will not receive an anomaly scan, I will definitely be returning to the MD Clinic at 20 weeks. The staff have really put me at ease and I feel like I will be in good hands for my entire pregnancy.

I’m looking forward to sharing some of my next scan photos with you all!

 

If you would like to book your pregnancy scan at the MD Clinic, there are a few different ways to contact them:

You can visit their website here or call them on (021) 450 09 08 for an appointment.

You can also visit their Facebook Page for more details – just click here

Opening hours:

Monday to Saturday 9am-7pm

Sunday 9am – 3pm

The MD Clinic were kind enough to offer me my scan for free. In return for the excellent service that I received, I have written this review. Please know that I do not collaborate with or endorse brands/products that I personally do not recommend.