#BREAKFREE Week Four: ‘Mum Guilt’

Corinne Redfern

Join us over the next seven days in our campaign to #BREAKFREE from ‘mum guilt’ and accept that we’re doing the right thing, regardless of whether we have children, a career, or both.



We’re damned if we do, we’re damned if we don’t. And we’re sick of it.

According to the most recent statistics, 80 per cent of women feel like they need to ‘do everything’ – to smash the glass ceiling, and then breastfeed on top of the smithereens – and 79 per cent of us feel guilty that we’re not managing it.

16 per cent of women who don’t have kids feel like they’re made to feel bad for prioritising something other than reproduction. Compared to zero per cent of men.

Meanwhile, working women who do have children spend a quarter of their time worrying that that they should be there for their kids more – while only a fifth of men feel the same way.

If we’re driven and career focused, we’re ‘neglectful’ or ‘selfish’.

If we’re maternally-minded, we’re ‘lazy’, ‘anti-feminist’ or ‘old-fashioned’.

Meanwhile, despite the option of equal parental leave in the UK since 2015, when did you last hear a man have to beg his boss for flexible working hours so that he could be there at bedtime? When did you last come across a man who was earning less than his peers because he’d taken a year off to raise his kids since childcare was too expensive? When did you last see a single man in his 40s described as ‘childless’?

But while crying ‘it’s not fair’ and stamping our feet might make us feel slightly better about the inequality of it all (or at least, slightly noisier), if we want to see tangible change, we need to take tangible action.

Which is why over the next seven days, as part of week four from our #BREAKFREE campaign, we’ll be exploring the reasons why women are made to feel guilty about children – whether we have them or we don’t. 

We'll be speaking to women who have broken free from guilt, in order to find out how they did it.

We'll be examining the ways in which pressure is placed upon women - and only women - to achieve everything at work and at home.

And we'll be providing practical, expert advice on how to life guilt-free, regardless of your reproductive choices.

Find out more about our nine-week long #BREAKFREE campaign here


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