Skip Nav
Gift Guide
32 Cool Last-Minute Gifts You Can Get on Amazon Prime . . . All Under $31
Ellen DeGeneres
Move Over, Oprah! Ellen DeGeneres Has Her Own List of 15 Favorite Things For Fall
Holiday
Amazon Sells Borderline NSFChristmas Costumes, and I Think We Can Safely Say People Have Lost Their Minds
Gift Guide
Old Navy's Holiday Pajamas Have Arrived, and There's Something For Every Family Member!
Mom's Warning on the Flu
Health and Wellness
This Mom Is Spreading Awareness About the Flu Vaccine After Her 6-Year-Old Passed Away

How to Manage Mom Guilt

Managing Mom Guilt Is a Daily Struggle That I Can't Win

A post shared by Heather Belk (@hbelk) on

Being a mom is the hardest thing I've ever done. For most of my 20s, I didn't really picture myself as a mom. I was focused on building a career; I loved having the freedom to pick and go whenever I wanted; and I loved spending my own money on myself. But here I am, in my early 30s, with a small child (that it turns out I'm obsessed with) and a career that has grown more in the two years since he was born than ever before. How times have changed.

As a working mom, I often feel like I'm failing in both realms. Neither home nor work get 100 percent of me, and that's not acceptable. Projects take longer than they used to — not an excessive amount of time, but longer than my single, 20-something, look-out-glass-ceiling self would have considered appropriate. Some days, I only have a few hours with my son before I go to work and he's off with our caregiver. He's experiencing and learning so much every day, but not necessarily from me. Shouldn't I be the one who's teaching him those things? I feel selfish and guilty for working.

But two truths exist. I feel all of those guilty feelings, but most days I also feel immensely fulfilled by both identities. And I know I'm not alone. Figuring out how to balance being a mom while still holding onto what makes you you is an incredibly hard thing to master, and, as much as I wish it would happen, nobody is ever going to come up with a magical solution. To try and deal with this, I turn to my top coping methods: faith, a good partner, and other moms.

ADVERTISEMENT

Faith

Participation in a faith community has been imperative to making this working-mom thing, well, work for me. It gives me the "peace that passes understanding." Some days, that peace is all I have — other days, it's all I need. Even if you're not religious, try joining a parenting class or even a book club. You can turn any place into a therapy session as long as you're willing to talk. And I'm willing to bet that you'll walk away with a little more faith than when you arrived.

Partner

I'm very lucky that I also have a great partner. We ebb and flow to support each other, but in parenting, our responsibilities aren't 50/50. Sometimes he's doing 90 percent of the parenting and picking up the house while I'm working a late event. Other days, it's the reverse. Often, he tells me he thinks I'm a good mom. And no matter how many times he's said it, I still always need to hear it. Being honest with your partner about what you need can make such a huge difference. They might not know you're dying for a night out unless you say so. Talk and support each other.

Other Moms

My company offers a monthly working-moms support group that I try to attend whenever I can. While I don't connect with every woman in the group on everything, it's reassured me that I'm not alone. Motherhood can be a terribly lonely place, one where you think nobody else could possibly be this tired, happy, sad, and excited all at the same time. Other mothers get it. You're never alone.

I know that this chaotic stage of stuffed animals, work emails, tantrums, and business calls is only temporary. This will not be the pace for the next 18 years . . . or even the next year. I'm sure I'll have a million more things to feel guilty about as he gets older, but for now, I'm doing OK. I'm tired, but I'm OK.

From Our Partners
Mom Uninvities Unvaccinated Child to Birthday Party
Why Grandparents Shouldn't Get Big Christmas Gifts For Kids
Why I Stopped Making New Year's Resolutions
Princess Diana at School Mother's Day Race
Did Princess Diana's Kids Wear Baby Shoes?
Women's Hoodie From POPSUGAR at Kohl's Collection
Why Parents Should Be in the PTA
Resting Metabolic Rate Test Review
I'm Addicted to My Phone
Silly Traditions to Start With Your Kids
Meghan Markle and Racism Op-Ed
Memory Jar New Year's Eve Tradition
From Our Partners
Latest Family
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds