Mommy Guilt: The Truth From Women Who've Been There

Mommy Guilt: The Truth From Women Who've Been There

If you’re dealing with your own mommy guilt, you’re SO not alone!


By Lauren Brown

Mom guilt: It’s something that everyone talks about, but until you become a mom you just can’t grasp what it’s really about. For me, I wasn’t prepared to feel guilt over everything from stopping breastfeeding at four months to going back to work (even though it was from home) when my daughter was only 6 weeks old. I knew in my heart that these things weren’t going to affect my daughter – but the chorus of “what if” and “how do I know for sure” played over and over in my head.

Thankfully, I found the best way to ease my fears and guilt was to commiserate with other moms and support one another through our personal struggles. It helped our fears and took away some – not all – but some of the guilt. If you’re dealing with your own mommy guilt, here’s support from 17 moms going through it, too.

1. “When my daughter was waking up at night at 28 months and crying to get out of the crib to play, I took her to the pediatrician to make sure she didn't have an ear infection or something. He said to let her cry it out and within a week or two she would be sleeping through the night. Listening to her cry was heartbreaking, but she now sleeps till 5:30 a.m. and no more crying at night. I still feel guilty about letting her cry though, even if it worked.” -- Callie H., Stamford, Connecticut

2. “I have mommy guilt about working all the time. Actually, some ladies in my mom group really make me feel horrible about it. One person told me I am only a mom on the weekend! I have more guilt when my son is sick and has to stay home with my husband and not Mama.” – Nicole C., New York City

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3. “I feel guilty about being able to provide more for my younger children than I was for my older children. I have to remind myself that my older two never went without anything and that they are happy, well-adjusted young adults, so I must have done something right.” – Angela C., Longview, Washington

4. “I worry that I am making the wrong choices for my daughter with special needs. There are so many decisions to be made, and every specialist thinks their way is the ‘right way.’ I fear that we will push too hard and she will drown, or we will expect too little and she won't reach her potential.” -- Melissa J., St. Louis, Missouri

5. “After my son was born, I felt a lot of guilt over the time it took away from my daughter. By no means do I EVER regret having him, but I felt very guilty about how it affected my daughter at first. It used to be just her and me all day, but then my son came along, and things changed. It's been a struggle to make sure both get equal time from me, but I've found ways to have special alone time with both of them.” -- Erin B., Norwalk, Connecticut

6. “If for any reason I am not home to put my kids to bed. That breaks my heart.” -- Amber G., Alberta, Canada

7. “I had my kids really young, and while I have been a good mom, and they have never lacked for anything, I fell short. I wasn't overly interested in being a ‘PTA/Soccer Mom,’ mainly because I was really young and the other moms were older and never treated me as an equal.” – Anne R., St. Louis, Missouri

8. “I sometimes feel guilty that my 8-year-old daughter doesn't have a sibling close in age to her. She gets lonely and bored sometimes. She has three half-brothers, but they are adults.” -- Chrissy I., Washington, D.C.

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9. “Working for fun money for our family, instead of staying home still. I know my kids love the fact that we get to go on weekend trips, summer vacations, etc., but working the hours that I do makes me miss out on a lot of time with them during the school year especially. My kids are 4 and 8.” – Kathy F., Iowa City, Iowa

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10. “Everything gives me mommy guilt. I feel bad for getting overwhelmed, or for not being the super-fun [crafty] mom. Mostly, I feel guilty for my physical limitations, though. I have some kind of as-yet-undiagnosed issue that makes me exhausted all the time, among other things. As a result, I can't run and play as much as I want to. We still go to the park and such, but I want to be more than what I am right now. It sucks.” -- Rachel B., Albuquerque, New Mexico

11. “Mommy guilt -- where do I start?! It started at birth with my first daughter. The ‘girls’ just did not work, and thus, I had to formula feed my daughter and had a crying fit in the hospital because I felt like I let my child down within the first week of her life. Most of my other mommy guilt comes from working. I missed my daughter’s first gymnastics medal ceremony because of work. I feel like I don't pay enough attention to my girls because of work sometimes, and I missed my second daughter’s first birthday. Well, six hours of her birthday, but I had been able to take the entire day off for my first daughter’s birthdays. Each time it happens I have to remind myself: As long as they are happy and healthy and they know I love them, then I am doing something right!” – Michelle B., Stamford, Connecticut

12. “I couldn't give birth naturally. I had to have two C-sections. I couldn't breastfeed my babies, and I work all the time. Those are the big ones.” -- Jennifer M., Julian, California

13. “I feel the most guilt while working during the summer. The kids don't get to do as much fun stuff as they would like, because my husband and I both work. This has been one of the hardest things for me to overcome as a working mom.” -- Sarah W., Molalla, Oregon

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14. “I feel guilty that we rely too much on our older children to help with the younger ones. To avoid day care, we have the older ones watch them at least a few hours every week.” -- Desirae L., Salem, Oregon

15. “My biggest mom guilt is working too many hours. I work from 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., but don't get home at least until 8:45 p.m. By the time I get home, it’s way too late to make a decent meal or be able to spend more than 10 or 15 minutes with my son and daughter. I try to spend as much time with them on Sundays when I have off, but it does not make up for lost time.” -- Irene E., Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

16. “Work always leads to guilt for me. I am a personal trainer, so I can make my own hours/schedule, which is great! But on the other side, I always have a tug of war … the more hours I work, the more I can provide, but then, the more work, the more I'm away from the kids! I feel guilty taking time away from my kids, and then feel guilty for not providing more.” -- Mary S., Lincoln, Nebraska

17. “When my son was 10 months, he fell from his high chair. I had washed the straps of the chair, and I just sat him down for lunch. I knew he wasn't buckled. My phone rang, and I accepted the call. There was food all over the chair, and I removed the tray. I completely forgot that he wasn't buckled. He fell and hit his face [and] ended up with plastic surgery on his nose. I still remember how his face turned bruised. He had a horrible black eye and scars all over. It took months for him to recover and until this day I feel the guilt of that horrible accident. I never get tired of apologizing to him, because I know it could have been avoided.” -- Paula A., Stamford, Connecticut

What was your worst “mommy guilt” moment, and how did you cope?


Lauren Brown is a freelance writer and pop culture junkie/expert who just took on her most exciting and exhilarating assignment yet – new mom to an adorable baby girl!

Image ©iStock.com/Central IT Alliance


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I think just Being A Mom, whether A Single Mom, A Working Mom, A stay At Home Mom, A Mom is A Mom and We ALL feel We Could Have Done Something Better. I am ALL of the Above and My Guilt Almost Buried Me. From a Divorce, Too Much Work, or No Money because No Job Disability and Let's Not Forget the Depression We Go Through When 'THE GUILT' Does Not Go Away !! " I have No Hope For a Better Past ".... So I am Done With Guilt ! I Am A Mom and I Will Always Try Harder Than Before for My Kids !!

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