Motherhood is the hardest, most challenging thing I’ve ever experienced. Moms worry and question every single thing. I guess it is the overwhelming feeling of knowing your baby fully depends on you for EVERYTHING! Yes, moms are constantly feeling guilty because things are not always perfect. Life can be hard sometimes. So, here are the Top 5 Reasons Why Mothers Feel Guilty All The time.
Top 5 Reasons Why Mothers Feel Guilty All The Time
I used to feel guilty about certain little things, like not calling my parents as often as I should, or being mean to my husband. But after becoming a mom, I started feeling guilty every single day! The guilt I started to experience when I became a mom was something I had never felt before.
Motherhood is so hard. Your body changes and your emotions also change. I now cry for everything! Even TV commercials! I guess you become overwhelmed with feelings of love and happiness. Becoming a mother made me experience what true unconditional love really is.
Becoming a mother definitely made me experience a lot of guilt. You start questioning if you are doing things the right way, and feel guilty every time things do not go as planned. You want everything to be perfect, and the reality is life is not like that. And you need to learn to be at peace with yourself knowing you are doing the best you can. And that is totally fine.
Of course, it’s easy for me to say that. It’s a lot harder to accept it. Until we address the things that fill us with the most worry and guilt, we can’t find peace as parents. So, with that in mind, keep reading for the things that we moms feel guilty about the most!
Here Are The Top 5 Reasons Why Mothers Feel Guilty All The Time
From how we feed our kids to whether or not we return to work, these are the things that keep us up worrying at night. I’ve included some of my favorite mom guilt quotes, too!
1. Breastfeeding vs formula-feeding
It was so hard for me. Both times. I tried really hard, I read many books. I talked to breastfeeding experts. But I only breastfed exclusively for a few months. It was too stressful for me, I was just going crazy and felt anxious (read my story). I believe breastfeeding doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Definitely not to me.
So, I started giving formula to my babies. And felt so guilty. Many moms have shared the same feeling with me. They feel like they are horrible mothers. But we are not! Never let anyone tell you otherwise (and sadly, A LOT of people will feel like they have a right to weigh in on how you feed your child & judge you if you choose differently than they would). We are all different, and breastfeeding is REALLY hard for some moms, for many different reasons.
When it comes down to it, feeding your baby is about two things: giving them the nutrients they need to grow and bonding with them. Millions (maybe even billions) of babies have done just fine on formula. As for bonding, I 100% promise that you can do that just as easily while feeding them a bottle as you can while breastfeeding.
2. Co-sleeping vs sleep training
I never left my babies crying in their cribs. I just couldn’t do it. Instead, they slept with me in my bed. And even though parenting experts tell you there is nothing wrong with co-sleeping, I felt guilty. Did I fail in my duties to help them learn how to sleep properly? Ruined their chances at ever learning to self-soothe?
I know it makes no sense but society tells you that your kids belong in their own room. You hear your parents’ stories about how you were such a “good” baby sleeping in your own room. That co-sleeping is going to ruin your marriage. And you feel extremely guilty. Mothers feel guilty all the time even at night!
Well, let me tell you, both of my kids are older now (one is in middle school!). BOTH of them are perfectly capable of sleeping on their own. I didn’t ruin them, not even a teeny bit. So go ahead and bring your baby into your bed if that’s what you feel works for you. On the other hand, if it doesn’t feel like the right move, don’t feel guilty for NOT co-sleeping!
3. Going back to work vs staying at home
I think this is the hardest thing I had to do when I had my first child. He was only 3 months old and I had to go back to work full-time. I could not stop feeling guilty thinking he needed me every hour, every minute, every second. And then your family tells you that the situation is terrible. That it didn’t use to be that way in the old times. The worst part? You like your job, and it is nice to get out of the house after a while. GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY.
Oh, and don’t think you’re off the mom guilt hook if you decide to stay at home. Believe me, you’ll deal with just as many worries! Are you setting a bad example for your kids somehow? Will your daughter grow up to think that she has to put everything and everyone else ahead of her career? Are you a disappointment to the women who fought to give you the right to work? Are you a bad feminist by choosing to stay at home?
Whatever you choose to do- stay at home, go to work, or work at home- it’s the right decision for YOUR family. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about your decision. If you’re still worried about the message that it sends your little girl, check out my tips on how to raise an independent and self-confident daughter.
4. Not being a crafty mom
I’m not what one would call a “Pinterest-worthy” mom. I didn’t create baby albums for either of my kids. Oh, I have plenty of pictures of them, don’t get me wrong. TONS upon TONS of them! They’re just not stored in adorable little scrapbooks with fancy embellishments. My kids’ first toys aren’t showcased in a darling shadowbox, and I didn’t turn their baby clothes into a quilt, Honestly, I can’t even remember what was my son’s first word, or the exact date when my daughter took her first steps. GUILTY!
I don’t do enough “mindful parenting” or peruse Pinterest for hours trying to find the perfect crafts to do with them. I worry that I will regret it one day when they ask me to see their baby book or want to know the first solid food that they ate or something. Honestly, though, taking care of my kids, doing laundry, cooking, and remembering special events is more than enough work for me. Heck, some days I don’t even get to the laundry!
Then I saw the quote below, “Good moms have sticky floors, messy kitchens, laundry piles, and happy kids.” That made me feel better…at least about the laundry! On the flip side of that, though, good moms can also have clean floors, organized kitchens, folded laundry, and happy kids. It’s the “happy kids” part that matters the most, not all of the stuff that comes before it!
5. Dreaming about some time for yourself
I want to take a day for myself and forget for a few hours that I am a mom. Actually, my ultimate fantasy is to go on vacation. To a hotel room. ALL by myself. For a few days! Heck, even a week! I’ll stay up late, sleep in, read a whole book without interruptions, and watch mindless TV shows and movies. Just me, myself, and I. Total bliss!
Now THAT makes me feel guilty, not to mention selfish, and ungrateful. I have a beautiful family, and I should want to be with them all the time, right? I should enjoy each day, each moment, because kids grow up so fast. I should want to soak up every last moment of their childhoods, not dream about getting away for a week! GUILTY!!
Here’s something that makes me feel a little better, though: plenty of psychologists and therapists tout the benefits of alone time for moms, not just for you but for your kids as well. Licensed therapist Emma Bennett said that she considers it a necessity, not a luxury. She added, “Giving our children the opportunity to build other loving attachments to additional caregivers can be a good experience for children. It is OK to accept those feelings of nervousness and also try to work with them so you can have some separation.”
Top 5 Reasons Why Moms Feel Guilty Video
I’ll leave you with one last quote from Abbey Williams that sums everything up. She wrote, “ “The thing about mom guilt is, we all have it. Whether you are a young mom, a single mom, a co-parenting mom, a stepmom, an adoptive mom, a working mom, a stay-at-home mom, or whatever mom you are- we are all connected through the highs and lows of motherhood. We are on this journey that means the world to each of us, so much so that we beat ourselves up when we come up short. We are only human. Empower each other!”
I am a mother of two children: a son and a daughter. Motherhood has been the most challenging but rewarding experience of my life. And we mothers feel guilty all the time. I’ve made tons of mistakes, and I still make them. There is no perfect mom in this world. But I know that in the end, what matters most is love. Love your kids and everything will be just fine.
By the way, if you are interested in a beautiful theory by an expert parenting instructor, please see The reason why children are 800% worse when their mothers are around. It will make you feel better when you are feeling guilty and questioning if you are being a good mom. I promise! You may also love reading about the 10 things moms think about the most!
I am sure that after reading this Top 5 Reasons Why Mothers Feel Guilty All The time post, you can relate to some of the things I feel most guilty about. I would love to know what others things moms feel guilty about. Please share them in a comment below.
I remember feeling guilty about going back to work when my daughter was 4 months old. a few of neighbors husbands worked 2 jobs so that they could stay home. I really envied them.
Creative And Healthy Fun Food says
Thank you for your comment. That is a hard one. I was feeling very guilty about it too.
Sonal Gohel says
I read your story and it feel same..I feel guilty all the time..because I have 3 year old boy..when he was born we r at my in-laws house…because of so many reason I don’t have time for my baby..and for that everyday I feel guilty..in join family u have to finish so much other work and in our India culture daughter in law is like servent…now we r not with them but I feel when I baby need me I have no time for him..even I never take him out..it’s unbelievable but 2 year old boy never go out..even library too… Here I feel guilty and after move to our own place I want to take him out but this boy used too with stay in home..because before we r in cage…we see this beautiful world from my in laws house..if we go out people use bad word..so I feel guilty everyday why I m too much scared of people I have to think for my baby..I loose my time..I can’t get it back now …guilty
I just got angry at my 2.5 years old for not going to sleep on time. Its work next morning and he was just playing the fool around with me telling him to please go to sleep, come we l sleep but na and then i lost it. I spoke to him angrily and he laughed and i really got angry and scolded him more and he started crying. His father came he complained about me that i hit him and went off to sleep with him in a minute. I am almost mad at the moment and feel like killing myself outta guilt.
Creative Healthy Family says
I understand how you feel. I am a mother of two and my kids push my limits all the time. I feel guilty sometimes too but know that it is normal and we are always trying to be better moms 🙂
I have bad news. They grow up, but the guilt remains! You second guess yourself on what you could of, should of done. No matter you are a thinking experienced adult that raised different children needing different things. You were learning on the most important job ever! You intellectually may know you did the best you could with the tools, knowledge, strength you had at the time, yet you continue to mull over things, forever making your childrens level of happiness contingent on your own.
Creative Healthy Family says
Thank you for your comment. I know right? They grow up but the guilt remains!
Yes you are sooo right. I too felt that way, and to this day I still feel like that. I love my boys more than life itself. And I will do whatever it takes to make them feel safe in this world. I am like a cougar protecting her cubs. We as mothers, have to protect our kids, against all the horrible things that happen in this world. And at times my kids push my buttons and get me angry with them, but then that feeling passes and I go and hug them and tell them how much I love them.
THANK YOU! THANK YOU for writing this! I felt terribly guilty AND ALONE when I couldn’t breastfeed. I just wasn’t able to produce for either of my children. But they thrived on formula and are big strong healthy young men now. And the rest of your list was spot on. I feel validated! We just can’t do it all. That’s a hard fact to process sometimes. But you’ve made me feel like a better mum. Thank you for sharing this. You made my day. Maybe my week!