Mommy Guilt — Why Do We Do This To Ourselves?

posted by Andrea | 03/13/2012

{sound asleep in her wrap… which means I have both hand to work!}

I have a ton of friends and family members with babies right now… seriously, a ton! 

Some of them stay at home with their kids, some of them work outside the home, and some of them work FROM home… like me.

However, I find it interesting that many of my mom friends and relatives say they feel guilty…

The moms who are “JUST” stay at home moms say they feel guilty because they quit their jobs and aren’t helping to support their families.

The moms who work outside the home feel guilty because they send their kids to daycare every day and aren’t around to see all the special moments and milestones.

The moms who work from home feel guilty because they are always forced to choose between work and family… and there is always more they could do for both.

No matter what kind of mom you are, I have a feeling you’ve probably felt guilty for one of these 3 reasons before. I know I have… and I’ve only been doing this for a few months.

The sad thing is that even if you don’t feel “mommy guilt” right away, someone will eventually make a rude comment, a snide remark, or even just infer that they wouldn’t make the parenting choices you’ve made.

You know it’s true!

Even though I’ve had a handful of rude comments and snide remarks already, I honestly feel like I’ve made the best decision for our family… and I feel like my friends and relatives have made the best decisions for their families.

I couldn’t imagine working outside the home every day. I think I would have a nervous breakdown from the stress of getting my fussy baby out the door each day and then coming home at night, only to make dinner, work on my huge list of household chores, and prepare for the next day — all while still dealing with a fussy baby. Kudos to all the moms out there who can do that though!

But at the same time, I think I would get a bit depressed if I stayed home with Nora but didn’t have my blog and virtual assistant work as an “outlet”. Yes, my work makes me busier; yes, sometimes it’s stressful to manage a full time job and a full time family; yes, sometimes I just want to quit everything — but at the same time, I LOVE being busy and trying to figure out the best way to manage everything on my plate {I know, I’m sick!}

So like I mentioned earlier, I feel that by working from home with Nora, I’ve made the best decision for our family… but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel that mommy guilt.

Oh believe me, I do! 

Some people think I’m making myself too busy, trying to do everything I do… but it’s only been 3 months, I’m still trying to figure everything out and get back in my groove. I’m not going to throw in the towel yet. Give me a few more months and I’ll have everything running smoothly again {let’s hope!!}

Others think that Nora’s lack of a schedule is because I’m home all day and don’t wake her up at a specific time for daycare. I’ve been told that if she went to daycare, they would get her on a schedule ASAP, which would then make my life easier. But why would I want to pay for daycare if I don’t have to?

Some tell me I’m being too relaxed with her, others say I’m too ridged. Some say I need to pay more attention to Nora and less to my work; others say the direct opposit — after all, I shouldn’t “spoil her with so much attention”.

It seems that moms just can’t win!  We are always doing something wrong… or so they say.

And while I obviously don’t have a ton of motherhood experience, I’d have to argue just the opposite. Often times, it seems moms are the ones doing it right… whatever “it” is.

You see, I never babysat, I never chose to be around babies, I never even changed a diaper before Nora was born… so I pretty much had no idea what I was doing! But after just 3 months, I can comfort her, get her to stop crying, and get her to smile faster than anyone.

She is still alive, she’s healthy, she’s growing, she’s sleeping more, and she’s cuter than ever… so I must be doing something right. {Obviously Dave is part of the equation too… but I’m talking about moms here!} She eats, she sleeps, and she gets tons of love and attention even though I also spend a fair amount of my days focused on work.

I suspect many moms can say the same thing — whether we stay at home, work from home, or work outside the home — we all love our kids, and are making the best choices we can for our families.

So why do we let ourselves feel this mommy guilt? 

And I know it’s not just me.

Besides just being confident in our own choices and knowing we are doing what’s best for our families, is there a way to push that mommy guilt aside?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Filed under: FamilyParenting

 
 

36 comments

  1. Tamara

    03/14/2012

    I am a working mom with three kids. You are right about one thing, no matter what decision you make, you will get criticized and you will feel guilty. Is it right? No. But I’ve learned to ignore people who try to put guilt on me for not mothering “the right way”.

    I wouldn’t let the lack of a “schedule” get to you. You’ll get your routine going and it will work out. I would have loved not returning to work after 8-12 weeks so our routine could stay “as is”, but it didn’t happen.

    As long as you nurture and love your child(ren) and make the decisions that are best for your family that’s all that matters.

    [Reply]

  2. caberk

    03/15/2012

    Thank you so much for writing this. I work full time outside the house with a job I love but I always feel guilty because they say “your kids are only young once…” “you never get this time back…” “pretty soon they won’t need you & you wasted you’re time working” 1) they are wrong because they don’t know me, my situation or what things would be like otherwise 2) it’s nice to know I’m not alone & that people struggle no matter what their situation is. I think that makes us good moms :)
    BTW- I love your hair in the pic holding nora. Is it a lot of work? Is your hair curly or do you make it do that? Looks fun & easy!
    Thanks again for the blog!

    [Reply]

    Andrea Reply:

    Thanks :)
    Yes, my hair is curly — and NO it is not a lot of work. I take a shower at night, sleep on it wet, and spend approximately 3 minutes doing my hair when I wake up. I’m not saying it always looks great — but I hardly spend any time on it… ever!
    I actually did an entire post all about my hair — you can read it here :)

    [Reply]

  3. Val

    03/15/2012

    Let your heart and intuition guide you; you will always know what is best for your child and your home. People will always have their opinions and you just have to filter out the “noise”. Look at that beautiful, healthy child of yours… you are doing a fantastic job, no doubt.

    [Reply]

  4. Holly

    03/16/2012

    I love your blog! I am an unorganized mess so I am fascinated by all that you do! You are right about the mommy guilt. I heard a saying,”the only thing deeper than a Mother’s love is her guilt.”. It is a personal decision for everyone and as long as you feel right about what younare doung, then that is all that matters. No matter what, it will never be enough it seems but children benefit from families full of love. You are awesome and your family is beautiful!

    [Reply]

  5. Weekend Reading: March 17, 2012

    03/17/2012

    [...] Mommy Guilt — Why Do We Do This To Ourselves? | Simple Organized Living [...]

  6. Southern Gal

    03/17/2012

    Sweet baby and I love her name. My granddaughter’s name is Nora.
    I experienced mommy guilt while working when our daughter was born. We weren’t supposed to have any children and then to have that miracle and not be able to spend time with her was killing me. My mom was keeping her so it wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t me. So I quit work when she was 18 months old. Then I’ve experienced the mommy guilt for not bringing in any income. Now three kids and one granddaughter later I’m experiencing mommy guilt for doing a little sewing because I love it and it helps with the money just a little. I have been through all three of the mommy guilts! And I don’t know how to avoid it other than lay it down and ask the Lord to make my days productive no matter where I am ministering at the time. That’s all I can do. (I didn’t mention the guilt of not doing enough in church or the homeschool group or whatever else there is to feel guilty about. )

    [Reply]

  7. Catherine

    03/17/2012

    You have hit the nail on the head. Wise words. I have no idea over how to get over the guilt entirely though. Just realising that everyone else feels pretty much the same generally helps me. By the way, that first picture of Baby Nora holding on to your top just kills me! Ah, I miss those sweet little baby ways… As for the schedule? Man, expecting a baby to be on a schedule within the 3 month mark is having high expectations!

    [Reply]

  8. Jen @ Dear Mommy Brain

    04/03/2012

    If you learn the secret to getting past mommy guilt, please pass it on! I wish I could stay home with my daughter, but our financial situation just doesn’t allow for it. Sigh.

    [Reply]

Leave a comment

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.