Dealing With Mom Guilt – How To Over Come And Not Feel Guilty

 

Every mother has experienced mom guilt at least once in their parenting journey. I know I have and quite a few times I might add. Here are a few things I did to not feel guilty when I had other things to do.

What Is Mom Guilt?

My definition of mom guilt is when you put your baby down to do other things and if it takes a long time you can start to feel guilty about not paying the baby as much attention. The baby is still within sight and you still feel this way.

 

 

I really struggled with this as I worked from home for 1 year when my baby was born, once she started becoming more aware I suddenly felt guilty when I worked so I started to think of ways that I could still get work done and not feel this sense of guilt. I felt this way on weekends when I had a little cleaning around the house to do.

Try To Get Things Done While The Baby Sleeps

You always hear people tell you to sleep when the baby sleeps. While I will advocate for this in the beginning, after a while it starts to become impractical. There are still other things that need to be done: laundry, household chores and cleaning. I’d take the occasional nap with the baby but for the most part I tried to get as many things done while she was asleep.

 

 

Babies take lots of naps ranging from 1-2 hours (my baby at least). I’d utilize this time to get my work done and when she was awake the work stopped until the next time she napped. Eventually, I started doing my work at night so I didn’t have to stress about getting it done during the day.

 

 

There might have been a chore that I needed to do when the baby was awake. If this was the case I tried to bring the baby along and talk and sing to her while I was cleaning (for example). I started doing this a lot more once she could crawl around and stand up a little. It was fun for her to crawl around on the floor or use the tub to stand up. The biggest tip I have is get a much done as possible during nap times, it may not always work out and don’t stress out if it doesn’t.

Have Your Significant Other Watch The Baby

Another thing I would do is get my husband to watch the baby. I had to wait until he was home at the end of the day or on the weekend. That way the baby is still being tended to while you are getting your stuff done. There is no guilt involved with this one. I took advantage of this every so often.

The Guilt Eventually Subsides

I wouldn’t say it goes away completely but it does subside after a while. You have to just tell yourself that the majority of your time is spent with the baby so if you have to do other things for an hour or two it’s no big deal. I had to tell myself this more than once and it helped.

 

 

Your baby doesn’t resent you for setting him down to get other things done. Eventually the baby will get old enough to play a little on his own.

 

 

Did you experience mom guilt? How did you over come it? I would love to know in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

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8 thoughts on “Dealing With Mom Guilt – How To Over Come And Not Feel Guilty

  1. you know i never realized how many challenges moms face in regards to the children and the guilt that is sometimes felt your article has forced me to think about how i can help more with the children and allow her sometime for mom thanks for that!! my wife will thank you as well although not directly

  2. Hi Erin
    As I read your post I’m reflecting on my mothers sense of guilt over us as children, she carried this with her in one form or another until her death a few years back. I’m now 62yrs. It may have subsided over the years only to suface in some unexpected way later, and when she least expected it.

    Guilt is funny like that isn’t it?

    It seemed to me no amount of reassuring I or any of us did to help her with her feelings made much if any difference to her and her sense of whether she did the right things back when we were infants.

    She, was doing the best she could in trying situations, with 4 kids under the age of 6, and an alcoholic for a husband. In the end all any of us can do is to do the best we can. And, we can only do the best we can with how we feel about our choices.

    Thanks for presenting an insightful look at the subject.

    James

  3. Awwww this is SO ME right now! I have a one year old baby boy who is very active & hyper. He has his own playroom and a TV but he always wants to go OTHER places in the house not safe or appropriate for him unless another grown up is there. My situation is that I am a single mother living with my own parents who work. I get up early, feed baby breakfast and then plop him in his playroom in front of the TV, and then I go to the kitchen to do the dishes… I can SEE him from the kitchen so its not like he is alone, I am right there, but I still feel guilty because he comes over to the kitchen doorway, where I put a baby gate so he can’t come into the other side of the house. He will yell, scream, throw something over the fence for my attention. In the middle of cleaning dishes or bottles I will come over, say some reassuring words to him, and then tell him to go watch Elmo while I finish cleaning. I feel so bad though because he doesn’t understand I am cleaning. I worry that he might believe I am just ignoring him. I have a baby carrier that you wear on your body in the front but you wouldn’t believe how hard it is to do dishes while wearing a baby in front of your chest, ya know? In addition to house chores, I also am trying to work on my own online business. I will bring my laptop computer into the playroom so I can sit with him and work on my computer but then he wants to crawl all over me…. sigh… my website is a baby sleep site because additionally my son has sleeping problems…. he just doesn’t lay down and go to sleep, I am still ferberizing him and its really stressful because I will put him in bed, shut my bedroom door and he will be crying hysterically in his bed for me so sometimes I also cave in and then go lay down next to him (which is what he wants) and then I end up falling asleep with him! Does this ever happen to you? You go to put your baby down for a nap, INTENDING TO GET UP after baby falls asleep, and go do your own work, but what ends up happening is you get stuck either falling asleep or baby falls asleep on you so you can’t move anyway! Right now its midnight and my son is sleeping so I have some time to do what I need to do but I definitely feel guilty … I feel like I don’t play with him enough, take him outside enough… sometimes when he is crying and I am washing dishes I just give him a baby cookie to shut him up long enough so I can finish the dishes and then go to him but giving my baby a cookie to shut him up is VERY guilt wrenching… oh girl I could go on and on about this forever because I SO FEEL THIS WAY – all day, everyday…. I am a single mom so I don’t have someone else here to help me but that isn’t an excuse …. I also want to succeed in my business so I can have the financial freedom to hire a damn maid to come and do my household chores so then I can play with my son more….do you ever put your baby in front of the TV or give them treats or other distractions just to pacify them enough to get what you need to get done?

    1. I hear you. It is very difficult to do the dishes with the baby in the carrier. I find it also hurts my back because she is getting so heavy. I do give my daughter treats just to be able to get stuff done. If she really gives me a hard time I put her in her high chair with an Arrowroot cookie or something just to be able to do something for 10 minutes. My daughter refuses to sleep unless I am holding her so that poses it’s own problems. As long as you are giving your son everything he needs which it sounds like you are I wouldn’t beat yourself up too much. I hope your online business really takes off!!

  4. Hi there, I don’t know that mum guilt ever really does go away to be honest. My twins are older now, at school, and I still have guilt over a range of things – leaving them at after school care when I have to work, working when they are at home and want to do something, not being able to go on school excursions or other school activities like assemblies etc.

    The guilt doesn’t ever really leave. At least it hasn’t for me. The only thing that I can do is be kind to myself about it and know that they can’t always have everything that they want all of the time. It’s all but compromise. At the end of the day my boys know that I love them more than anything on this earth, they never need to question that!

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