Mother’s Guilt…

I suffer from Mother’s Guilt, constantly.

Today I went to a zumba class, I came home, refreshed and happy. I mean who wouldn’t be, I just danced my chubby, booty shaking, breast bouncing body for an hour to some kick ass tunes. It was beyond a great way to start today.

As I drove home, I was grinning ear to ear. I kept thinking to myself, “Why don’t I do that more often?”.  Once I got home I yelled to my family that I was home.

“How was it?” My husband yelled back.

“Fantastic.” I replied.

Then I hung my coat, put my keys in my purse and walked into the living room. Immediately, I felt sick.

I shouldn’t have gone to that class.

I should have stayed home.

The dishwasher needs to be emptied. I need to make a list for Christmas cards. There was an email to look into about some rewards points. The kids need lunch.  We need snacks for the babysitter. Zed has things that he wants to do.

I find it hard to explain my feelings to anyone.  Because I know what I stated above sounds like I am feeling guilty about a “to do list”. But, that’s not quite it. I get overwhelmed with this feeling that I am not doing enough.  That I shouldn’t be taking time for myself because there are so many other things to be done. But, that is also not quite it either. It’s so hard to explain.

The next thing that happened is pretty typical of me, when I feel crappy about something I take it out on someone else.

Obviously Zed was the closest thing near me and I snapped at him for no reason. Truly. No reason.

“What are you talking about?” He said while shaking his head.

As he walked out of the room I yelled, “So, you got to go to poker last night and I can’t go to zumba?”

“I never said that.”

“I am sorry. I just feel guilty.” I told him.

“Don’t feel guilty. No one said you couldn’t go to zumba.”

He is right.

Except, someone did say it, I said it.

I told myself that it wasn’t okay to go. I told myself that there were things that needed to be done.  I tell myself a ton of really awful things.  It’s pretty ridiculous.

But time and time again it all comes down to guilt.

I feel guilty for showering.

I feel guilty for working out.

I feel guilty for not being a better housewife.

I feel guilty for going to yoga.

I feel guilty for going away on a girls weekend.

I feel guilty for working.

I feel guilty all the time.

Yes, I feel I am worth it. Yes, I feel that I deserve these things. But, it doesn’t stop the guilt from creeping in.

Before kids I don’t remember ever feeling this kind of guilt.  Sure, I had guilt of kissing my friend’s ex boyfriend. Or for stealing my parents vodka. But, this was different. I can’t seem to shake this new feeling. I remember feeling it when I went back to work after my first mat leave.


I’m tired of it. I want it to go away.

Does it go away?

26 thoughts on “Mother’s Guilt…

  1. I am not even a mommy and I feel guilty about swimming or yoga all the time. I have actually found myself asking hubby if it is okay I go!

  2. It goes away. When you realize that to be a better mom, a better wife you need to do something that allows you to just be you, it goes away. It has taken me 4 kids, divorce, remarriage and a whole lot of soul searching but you realize that you really are a great mom and great mom’s need Zumba; )

  3. When you let it go. Enjoy the moment. My favorite saying that I call on is “This too shall pass.” That means bad times and good. So enjoy the good ones every second and try not to be the one that cuts it short.

  4. I hear ya Kyla, I wish that guilty feeling would go away too. I actually will buy myself stuff then return it bc the kids need something. I feel guilty for wanting to go to work full time so I actually have money to spend on things I like but then feel guilty that my kids will suffer bc i’m not around. If you find the answer I would love to hear it. Good luck in you quest!!

    1. It is about perception and self talk. “my kids will suffer because I am not around”. Really? Do children not benefit from bonding to other care providers? Learning they will be ok, even if mommy is not there? Children do benefit from some level of independence etc. Do your children suffer from having you around too much, especially when you are too stressed out or tired to be emotionally and mentally present? I don’t know the answers. I am just presenting a different picture. Do we SAY our children need us 24/7 or we can’t go to work, or can’t go to zumba because WE need them to need us? It is more about OUR ego and needs than theirs?

  5. My dear you are sweating the small stuff. without you taking time out for your self, how can you reload to care for your family. As a mother I learnt along time ago, if your not happy then no one is . Sometimes a Mother has to remember she is also a very important part of the family but without doing something JUST for her self , you become overloaded and can’t remember who you are. A role as a Mother- mostly is overwhelming, and tiring, but very rewarding, life goes by so fast , it is so easy to forget who you are, not only a mother, a wife, a friend, a daughter, a career women, many hats a Mother wears. But without you, your family would be lost. And the dust bunnies , the dirty dishes, dirty clothes , they will all be there another day, life will not fall apart if these jobs are not done, but if your not happy nothing goes well. So my Dear friend , keep those girls bouncing and keep smiling tomorrow is just another day. Guilty , for wanting to improve your health for your family, to be there with them for ever . I think, you should be proud of the example your setting. You are doing it all. Go Girl Go.

  6. I think you have to be the voice that argues with the guilt. Last year, I had a friend whom I’d meet to go swimming once or twice a week. I’d put the kids to bed, skip out of the house, swim for an hour, talk with her in the hot tub for twenty minutes, maybe go for coffee with her, and come home feeling so much better. Human. 🙂 Oh, and my hubby liked the mood I came home in too… wink wink. 🙂 It was good for all of us. So there was NO REASON to feel guilty about it… even if I left dishes on the counter to go swimming, or could’ve been doing something else. That stuff waits. You need to take care of yourself first sometimes. And I’d find that the dishes would look less overwhelming after I’d gone swimming. Just make the zumba part of your routine and tell the guilty voice to shut up. 🙂 You need to take care of yourself if you’re going to take care of the house and everyone else! 🙂

  7. Hah, maybe this whole guilt thing is contagious, ’cause I’m starting to feel guilty for NOT ever feeling guilty to take time for myself for a yoga class or simply a cup of coffee at my fave cafe… Not being a mom, I don’t have any advice to offer other than remember YOLO, and you need time for yourself so that you can recharge and be 100% there for those who need you. Hope you kick that voice in the butt with some epic zumba moves! <3

  8. I deal with this every darn day! I feel guilty for working! If I had a job where I left the house, I wouldn’t but because I work from home , I feel awful for having my son watch TV and fend for himself during my business hours.

  9. I think I have learned to suppress that feeling a lot of the time actually. My husband is great in the kitchen and doing laundry. Occasionally I feel guilty about missing stuff at the kid’s schools now. But I can’t do everything. I run a business so I remind myself often that this puts the money into the mortgage and pays for the trips and clothes and heat and hydro etc. I also do workout often. I do not feel guilty about that ever. I know I need it because when I don’t go then I get sick quicker and I have less energy for the kids and my husband so I have convinced myself it is in our best interests as a family that we each get time to work out regularly.

  10. I was just thinking about this. I decided (to myself) that I need to get in the habit of asking myself, “am I trying to do my best?” and if the answer is yes, then I need to back off of myself! 😉

  11. My children have lives of their own now but my mantra has always been “It is important to put myself first because If I am not happy then no one in this house is going to be happy.” Read that book, take a long bath and go to zumba. You will be a better mother, wife and friend because of it. Your children will also be better adjusted to survive school, work and their own relationship with a partner.

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