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Why Are We So Full of Guilt?

Why Are We So Full of Guilt?

It's a good thing Moms don't go to jail for feeling guilty. The prisons would be full.

I spent a few hours this week cruising through both working mom and stay-at-home mom (SAHM) communities on Circle of Moms. It turns out we moms have more in common than we realize. We feel uncertain about ourselves. We question. No matter what course of action we take in caring for our families, we express doubt that it's the correct choice. The guilt we've wrapped ourselves in is like a sleeping bag we can't get unzipped. We're stuck inside and the zipper won't budge.

Just check out these snippets:

"I feel like I can't give my three boys enough and I feel guilty all the time." - Stacie J.

"I need to know if it's ok to be happy being a stay-at-home mom or if I am being selfish since money is tight." - Jaclyn M.

"I feel so guilty for working even though I know that it's a good thing for me to do. But when I leave for work, I feel like I haven't spent enough time with my kids." - Amy B.

"I feel guilty when I get that phone call from school and have to leave early to pick up a sick child. Guilt ... can't seem to escape it!" - Mellonie S.

"I feel a little guilty not being able to give all my attention to my children's schooling because I am so busy with my own school work and studies." - Alisha W.

"At various points, I have felt guilty about all of the following: First child wouldn't breastfeed, (with) second child I was ill and couldn't breastfeed, working - I do it for me not just (for) the money, not having enough patience, being too pushy, not being pushy enough." - Catherine D.

"For loosing my temper." - Mary F.

"I am exclusively pumping (nursing didn't work for us) and every day I'm thinking about going to formula but I feel incredibly guilty about it." - Lisa E.

"I would love to have more time alone with my man, but every time we do get a chance to go on a date or something, I feel guilty and think what the kids are doing." - Satu H.

Yep, ladies, it's seriously time for this to end.

I'm going Bob Newhart on you. (Remember The Bob Newhart Show? I was too young when it originally aired from 1972 to 1978. Back then I was watching Josie and the Pussy Cats and Scooby-Doo. But re-runs are a rocking awesome deal.) I've caught several episodes featuring him as a Chicago psychologist and they're genius.

In one memorable show, Newhart counsels a woman who has come to him with a laundry list of relationship problems. She's doing all the wrong things and she feel bad about it. For each problem, Newhart tells her quite simply, "stop it." As she lists more problems, he changes up his reply just slightly by saying, "Just stop it." This continues until his gentle voice becomes a scream: "Stop it!"

I am not going to scream. This is mostly because I don't want to hurt myself as I'm speaking not only to you, dear reader, but also to myself about all this second-guessing we heap upon our already overloaded lives.

So I will whisper.

Stop it, ladies. Just stop it.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, POPSUGAR.

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WendyTodd WendyTodd 5 years
I used to be on a schedule, felt I needed to get x amount of things done in a day, didn't feel like I'd achieved much if I went to bed without getting my chores/aims ticked for that day. Suddenly after my third child I suddenly let go of that - it wasn't a lightbulb moment, I just let things pile up a bit and then realised that it wouldn't matter if it didn't happen today. I've done this so I can spend more time talking with, playing with and enjoying my kids. My eldest is 14 and I know this wonderful time won't last forever so I am making the most of it and have given up on the guilt trips! We don't have much money, I work 3 jobs but I still find time to have fun with the kids and don't stress so much that the house isn't pristine!
FerneMason FerneMason 5 years
I've raised 3, have 11 grandkids and 5 great grandkids. I look back and wish I would of done more things with them. We did our best to have a good loving home with their needs met. Nobody gives us a book on what you should do so you do the best you can. I'm proud of all 3 of my children . I live far from most of my grandkids and miss them terribly. We have done what we can, when we can showing them how much we love them. Now we have the rest of our life to live the best we can and be proud of the job we have done. FM
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