Monday, January 31, 2011

Mommy Guilt - The Hidden Danger of Mommyhood

I read a mom's confession the other day where she said, "I shrugged my daughter off of me today.  I can't stand being touched today."  I read it and thought that I could have written that very easily.  Four days go by and I'm still thinking about that mom and what she said.  I have done the same exact thing, and I felt bad then and I still do now.  My mind then starts to immediately remind me about each bad mommy moment I've had over the past 9 1/2 years.  I can remember them like it just happened last week, which I'm pretty sure some of them did.  Why can't a mommy mind have a filter?  The kind of filter that allows us to remember only the wonderful things we do as I'm positive we all do wonderful things on a weekly basis. 

I love my kids more than I ever could I have imagined, but in all those books I read while pregnant there was never a section entitled, "Mommy Guilt - It Comes with the Territory."  Perhaps you can't teach mommies-to-be this trait that comes automatically, but "they" could have least prepared me for such guilt.  Other people tell me not to waste my time feeling guilty as I do the best I can.  Some days I feel like I haven't given my best, nor do I feel that I even tried, which inevitibly leads to the dreaded mommy guilt.

So I go over and over again all the bad mommy moments I've had and they add up.  In fact, I don't have enough fingers and toes to keep track of the bad mommy moments.  I certainly don't dare write them down where anyone could find them and judge me.  I then start to think about stories I've read or stories I've been told about other moms who have had bad moments.  I'm sorry to admit that it makes me feel better when I can say to myself, "Ooh, at least I've never done THAT."  That's mean I know, but I think that's human nature.  It also makes me feel better when I can say, "Oh, phew, someone else had done X, Y, Z too!!"  Somehow I'm validated in my bad moments.

No matter how much validation I get though I can't ever truly let go of the mommy guilt.  It's there to stay because as my own mother has told me on many occasions, "Get used to it, April, it's a life sentence."  Oh, it sure is, but I just try to think that for every five minutes worth of bad mommy moments, there's ten minutes of awesome, silly, loved moments which definitely outweigh the negatives on this whole mommy job.  I can learn to live with that.


  1. From what my mom has told, me, yes, it never goes away! But maybe you could make yourself a list, make it a daily list, one great thing you did a day to make your kids extra happy. Wehter it be both kids, or one or the other. And then that way, you can go back and read that and feel a little better on the days you might be feeling guilty.

  2. aww bek i LOVE that idea. thanks sweet friend. i think i will defintely do this - and maybe keep a running list on the fridge!! so in case someone forgets how awesome i am it'll remind her LOL