Confessions of a Mom: Mom Guilt

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Mom guilt! Let’s talk about that.

I am a working mom. I have a 3-year old and a 5-month old. I went through almost the exact same thing leading up to the birth of both my children… at home, I was nesting – terribly! I wanted to organize everything to make room for baby. At work, I was putting in extra hours to get ready for maternity leave. I barely slept in anticipation for my little one’s arrival. Finally, the big day was here! All of the things that kept me up at night on the matters of the home and work had taken a back seat, because now, I have a new focus. My precious little bundle of joy has entered the world. And just like that, I knew my only job was to take care of this helpless tiny human that I loved so dearly.

I took an average of 7 ½ weeks of maternity leave with both pregnancies. Those weeks flew by so quickly. Before I knew it, it was time to return to work. I secretly wished I could stay home with baby for as long as I can. I was overwhelmed with a mixture of emotions – from a feeling of joy, that I am now a mom to a feeling of worry, that I am now responsible for another life. Oh, and another one, guilt. Mom guilt is real! Here’s a mom wishing she could stay home and feeling that guilt of returning to work.

What about stay-at-home moms? It certainly isn’t my place to talk about how stay-at-home moms feel. I can only imagine how hard it can get when you’re the sole adult at home taking care of baby, the home, your partner, and if you have time, yourself. That’s a lot of work! There is no price tag for raising your children and raising them well. Yet, in spite of all of that, I still hear it… mom guilt also exists for stay-at-home moms.

Why do I bring this up? Because I want us to talk about it, so we can find a way to get through it together. There should be no need to defend your position of why you chose to stay at home or work, yet societal pressures and sometimes, even our own families leave moms on guard. Whether you’re a working mom or a stay-at-home mom, each day is a balancing act. With the best intentions and to the best of our abilities, we are constantly making decisions for our families and our little ones. The choice to breastfeed or formula feed, on what to feed the family, on how to raise our children so that they may grow up into kind and responsible adults, and the list goes on. It’s a lot of work and a lot to think about.

If you’re feeling the “mom guilt”, the journey to coming to peace with it is so personal. I am fortunate to have a great support system – I have the wisdom and help of my loving mother, a caring husband and beyond that, a slew of moms whom I can seek out advice from with no judgment. We need to support and build up each other. As the saying goes, “it takes a village to raise a child.” We’re all on the same mission. Let’s not forget to be kind to one another.

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4 Comments

  1. Sadie

    Mom guilt goes both ways, it follows us poor moms no matter what we choose. I am a SAHM to 18 month old and have another on the way, but I SOOOOO badly want to go back to work. To have some extra money so we can have more “experiences together as a family” like having fuel money to go to the park by the river in town ( cooler option in AU summers). Also so that my hubby could have just a lil more spending cash for his project cars. He’s pretty much finished his 7 year project, but now don’t have enough budget to put her on the road so he can drive her finally after all those years of work.
    To add to all that I would love to go back to work for my own sanity, to make more friends on this side of the planet and feel like I am challenging my brain and learning new things.
    My kiddo loves his Montessori daycare a few days a week, but soon won’t be able to take him once new bub is here. So I feel guilty I am taking away from his learning experiences and bonds he’s made with them because we decided to have a 2nd so soon.
    Mom guilt comes in all shapes, sizes, and reasons. I feel like if we had stronger communities like a few decades ago this wouldn’t be the case so much (maybe). We’d have more people to lean on and give us reassurance that we are doing awesome.

    1. samchiugo

      That’s very true, Sadie. Let me tell you that you are doing an awesome job! I know so many moms who were SAHM until their babies went to school and they wouldn’t trade it for the world! We do our best with what we have at hand. Bub will grow up well and before you know it, you’re in a different chapter of your life with #2. The irony of having communication tools at our fingertips yet the feeling of disconnection is true too. I hope you have a great support system. I can’t wait for what you have in store for your awesome family. I’ll be following your journey.

  2. Patrice

    I always say that if you would tell someone else that they shouldn’t feel guilty if they felt the way you do, then why do you feel guilty yourself? Mom’s put way too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect and do it all! But we just can’t do it all!

    1. Samantha

      Patrice, you’re right. Moms put a lot of pressure on themselves. This is one more reason to be kinder to one another. The message I’m aiming to drive here is that it’s okay to feel that way. It would NOT be okay not to acknowledge this. But, seek support and someone to talk to about it.

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