Mom Life

Mom Guilt: The Struggle is Real

I remember as if it was yesterday when my girls were small. I had a baby, a two year old, and a four year old all home with me. Life was filled with diapers, potty training, and bedtime battles. I wasn’t sleeping through the night, so the days felt ridiculously long.

One thing that remained constant in this season of my life was mommy guilt. I seemed to always feel it. When I would sit and play with my girls, I felt guilty because I should really be doing the dishes, and when I took the time to fold the laundry, I felt guilty for not spending that time with my girls.

Finding balance was nearly impossible. I constantly felt torn between accomplishing chores that needed done and spending enough quality time with my children. Mommy guilt was strong in that season of my life. I constantly felt like whatever I did was never enough. The bar was set too high, and, try as I might, I never seemed to reach it.

When I voiced those feelings of guilt out loud, I was sometimes told, “Dishes and laundry will always be there. You’re kids are only this young once.” I understood the intent behind this comment was good, and it was meant to be encouraging. But all it did was make me feel even more mommy guilt when I would focus on housework! Because let’s be real, we NEED clean dishes, and we NEED clean laundry. Those are, in fact, not optional. So the cycle of guilt continued.

I’m five years removed from that stage of life now. Since we added baby number four this year, I’m back to getting very little sleep. Some nights he sleeps great, other nights we are up every 90 minutes {like last night}. My mommy guilt doesn’t rear its ugly head as often as it used to, and when it does, it’s usually in a different way. I still question if I’m doing enough to teach my kids the right things…and am I giving them enough one on one time? But I’m less likely to feel guilty..maybe I’m more confident in my parenting?

This morning, though, my old friend Mommy guilt returned for an unwelcomed visit. You see, today was my kindergartener’s field trip to the pumpkin patch. I had plans to bring baby brother and meet her there. I went on her big sisters’ kindergarten field trips, and I was really looking forward to experiencing this one with her too. {Kindergarten is only here once, right?}

The problem is, we woke up to 17 mph winds, and according to my weather app it felt like 33 degrees outside. I just could not bring myself to take my 7 month old out in the weather like this. I told her at breakfast about my disappointment in not being able to go. She hung her head and frowned {like a dagger through my heart}. I felt awful. I even began trying to talk myself into going…but it really wouldn’t have been a good call for baby boy.

The moral of the story is that mommy guilt is real, but disappointment is also real. I had to tell myself a few times this morning that my kindergarten girl was going to be ok. She wouldn’t be the only one without a parent. Disappointments stink, but they are real. And baby boy’s health was most important.

I say all of this to encourage you, that if you ever feel mommy guilt {on any level}, give yourself the freedom to realize you’re being unfair to yourself, and you have nothing to feel guilty for. We simply cannot do all the things.

Some days you’ll play with My Little Ponies on the floor. Some days you’ll get all the laundry done {hahahahaha! Just kidding. The laundry will never actually be done}.

Sometimes you’ll get to go on field trips, and sometimes you’ll have to just stay home and snuggle your baby boy.

Ask yourself, “Are my kids’ basic needs met? Have they been fed, bathed, and cared for? Do they feel loved? Have we laughed together lately? Do my kids know how special they are? Do I say I’m sorry when I make a mistake?”

Some days you’ll feel like you’re getting it all right. Some days you’ll need a do over.

When Mommy Guilt comes knocking at your door, try to remember this: no one is perfect. You will not get it right 100% of the time. It is ok to not be able to “do it all.” In fact, it’s not just ok, it should be expected.

Love your tribe fiercely, and give yourself grace when you need it. You’re doing a great job loving your people. And that’s what really matters.


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