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Guest Blog - Louise Fernando, PANdemIC & Mummy guilt

Mummy, Mummy Mummy, Mum, Mum, Mum, Mum – YES?!

Kids are bickering, phones ringing, the work emails are pinging through. The washing machine just finished. The cooker is throwing out smoke! I'm muttering for fucks sake under my breath for the 100th time that day. Asking and praying for just 5 minutes of solitude and harmony. What on earth is going on? Well ladies, Mummys, Mums. We are in the middle of a never heard in our lifetime PANDEMIC!!! Remove the DEM and we have PANIC!!! Because we have all been panicking, and quite rightly so.

Its a weird, creepy time and worrying for many people. Wondering what is going on in this crazy world at the moment. And I don't know about you, but I am experiencing some mega pangs of mixed emotions. Throughout this PANdemIC, I have experienced a wave of emotions which have led me to think I'm on some crazeee rollercoaster. I'm up, and then I'm up higher, and then I'm down, then I'm in floods of tears. Then I'm singing and baking cakes and feel like bloody Mary Poppins! When I actually feel like I am one of those pendulums on one of those pretty clocks and I'm swinging from one end to the other! And that is pretty normal just now, so don't beat yourself up. I don't care what anyone says, this is how life is just now. Its crazy, surreal and we will get through this. We have been flung into fight/ flight or freeze mode. We have had that carpet pretty much swooped from under our feet. We have been thrust into a completely different time zone!!

Now, I remember watching Back to the Future as a Kid , but ill tell you, 2020 didn't look like this. All of a sudden I'm a teacher, home worker, stay at home mum, working mum, cook, maid, cleaner., lets not forget hairdresser and beautician!! I'm SUPER WOMAN!!! Except there's no cloak, and I look nothing like the modern day Superwoman!

So how am I coping? I'm eating biscuits by the bucket load, I'm swigging prosecco like its diluting juice, I am mopping my kitchen floor as much as Mrs Hinch. I am obsessed with hanging my washing out. Obsessed with my neighbours trips out, and I'm also obsessed with Joe Wicks!! Out of all these emotions, the one that rings so true for me just now. Is GUILT…………. I am feeling huge pangs of Guilt for my children.

I feel guilty that they cant see their friends and family.

I feel guilty that I'm stacked in front of my laptop at home working.

I feel guilty when I'm silently mouthing ”out the room” as I'm on another work call and they are looking for snacks.

I feel guilty that I'm not teacher of the year and I now know why I didn't progress into that career.

I feel guilty that I can't give them the education that they deserve.

Then I feel guilty that I'm working at home, then I feel guilty that I'm complaining about working at home when there are others without jobs. Then I feel guilty at how much chocolate I'm eating. And may I add, I didn't realise I was a secret eater, hiding sweets all over the house and secretly eating them so no one sees. I have great intentions from day to day, but some days I just cant at times find the balance. I'm very lucky that my husband is here to share the load. No matter what he says, I still feel that Mummy guilt.

And it is just all Mummy Guilt. Guilty that I cant spin all the plates and keep everyone happy. I feel guilty that I cant see my older children and their babies and that they too are missing out. I feel guilty that we have had many unhealthy teas, that I'm emotionally exhausted at night and I've fallen asleep in their beds. Guilty that I have been grumpy and crabbit some days ( I'm sure they would say most days) ha! and I am absolutely sure that there are lots of you in the same boat. And that each day is a learning curve, that each hour there is a new dilemma to deal with and with each day that goes by, we get closer to the end of this. And sometimes we just need to let that guilt go. I always say to my kids to put their worries into balloons and let them go. And, that is what us mummy's juggling the world should be doing just now. Not just mummy's, but everyone. Including YOU!! I am doing my best just now. we are all doing our best just now. And we will get through this panic, pandemic. We will get through this!!!

If you are feeling like this, please don’t worry. Everyone is feeling different emotions just now. We cant be perfect and perfection is just an illusion. What we can do, is drop our expectations. We place far too many expectations on ourselves to get it right, and these can be heavily unrealistic. A favourite motto of mine is "You can only do at the time, with what you have at the time”. And this absolutely true. So, go easy on yourself. Be gentle in your thoughts, be kind to yourself, and please take care.

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