Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mommy Guilt - Just Say NO!

The mom guilt - it can start as fast as two blue lines appear on a pregnancy test!
Oh, no, I think I had caffeine last week.
Uh, oh, I think I may have eaten unpasteurized cheese.
I forgot to take my prenatal!
I despise Mom Guilt.  I rail against it.  I encourage every mom I know to not beat herself up, to do her best and leave the rest to God.  I do my best to ignore the uncivil shouters of the world who try to convince me that their way is the only right way.  But, even I, the champion in the fight against Mom Guilt is susceptible.

Today, I go pick up my girls from school, they get into the car, chattering about the lunches I had packed for them.  We get home and I work on homework with both girls.  The Engineer gets home and asks the Hedgehog about her day.  She promptly bursts into tears.  She'd had a bad day.  she doesn't like one of her teachers at school.  One of the boys that she's working with on a project isn't helping.  It all pours out, all over her Daddy, as I sit by, shocked. 
Why hadn't she told me?  Did I even ask about her day?  How could I not tell that she was having a hard time?
Sigh.  Attack of the Mom Guilt.

Time for the girls to go to bed and I'm feeling somewhat better because I've helped Hedgehog brainstorm some strategies for dealing with the situations at school.  I feel like I started late, but I finished strong.  Go Team Mom!

But then, there is screaming.  The noise is coming from the girls' bathroom and the Engineer goes to investigate.  He comes back in a few minutes holding a nightgown with monkeys on it.  "Whose is this?" he asks, waving it at me.  "I don't know," I confess, and he wades back into the fray.  He eventually determines that it probably belongs to Hedgehog, based on the size, and she puts it on, gives kisses and goes to bed.  Monkey, despondent, cries in my lap for another 30 minutes.
What kind of mommy doesn't even know which pjs belong to which kid?  For good grief's sake, there are only 2 of them!
Even more Mom Guilt.

There are too many topics that prompt guilt to count:  vaccines, co-sleeping, disposable or cloth diapers, make-your-own organic baby food or jarred, work or stay at home, breast or bottle?  And as the kids grow, the topics just change:  public or private or homeschool, how many extra-curricular activities, hairdos, piercings, attitudes, DATING!

We can drive ourselves crazy, second guessing every choice, wondering if our kids' mistakes are our own fault, and listening to every side of each and every issue.  But, all we can do is try our best.  After we've done what we hope to be right, we need to give ourselves a break.  We need to make a choice based on what we know of the situation and our child and move forward.  We need to silence the ugly voice inside our own heads that says horrible things we would never allow to be said to a friend and we need to ignore all the "advice" givers in our life.

Mommy, just say NO to Mom Guilt.  You deserve better.  So do I.


  1. Guilt is part of being a human I guess. And, it's an even greater part of being a mother. I will probably not stop feeling guilty until all of my boys have married successfully and given birth to functioning offspring themselves. Or I will dire first. Sad state of affairs.

  2. Great advice. My oldest is twelve though and I'm still working on letting go of mom guilt.

  3. Love it! I think we are born with some form of innate mom guilt!

  4. So very true. Sometimes the worst part of my day is when I'm laying in bed thinking about all the things I "should have" done better!

  5. I swear the best way to get rid of mom guilt is to stop your mom friends from doing it to themselves. We all need someone to kick us in the pants and remind us to be nice to ourselves!

  6. Mom guilt completely sucks. It all seems to come from outside (even if in the form of an inner voice). Only we know what is right for our families. We need to remember that.

  7. I'm always replaying how I could have handled something better. We could all stand to give ourselves more of a break.

  8. Love the onesie in the picture. I once said I would die an early death if a guilt-attack. Welcome to the dark side no one shares while you are in pregnant bliss.


What do you say? I've run my big mouth - now it's your turn!