Thursday, November 15, 2007

Mommy Guilt

OK, I must ask you all if any of you mommy's struggle with MOMMY GUILT. Mommy guilt is something I have struggled with since my boys were little. You never feel like you are enough. I have always felt like I am too short with the boys and that I yell at them too much. I hate that about myself. I try to keep from boiling over when things go wrong but inevitably, I lose it. Then, I have the guilt's. I hate the guilt's but they are a regular part of my life. When the boys were little I use to think I was the worst mom in the world. I would look at friends from church that were so patient and kind and loving and I use to compare myself thinking I was just a HORRIBLE mom. I still struggle with that because I am constantly comparing myself to others. The problem is that what I see on the outside with others is not necessarily what is going on behind closed doors. Not that what is going on behind closed doors is so bad, but I'm a sure many others yell at their kids or are short with them or do not stimulate them or provide them with every middle class opportunity that we are expected to. It is just hard to feel like you are doing everything you can for your kids. I feel guilty that I don't involve them in enough extracurricular activities and then when I put them in something I feel guilty that they are over scheduled and that they don't have enough time to be kids. Then I feel guilty that I don't spend enough one on one with them and that I am too busy doing my day to day stuff. Then I feel guilty about me being on the phone too much and on my computer too much and that I didn't do this or that or this or that--- ugggg-- the guilt is just everywhere!!!! While I think I am a fun mom and a loving mom, I also think I am a demanding mom and a yelling mom (when I get upset)and much of the time I feel like I am just mad at my kids. With the day to day and the getting off to school and then homework and activities and then dinner and then showers and getting ready for bed - I just feel like it is a rat race and that I am always pushing my kids and that I am always mad at them. I hate feeling like that. I don't want my kids to remember their childhood as negative. I don't want them to remember me as a pushy mom who yells-- I want them to remember the other part of me-- the loving and fun part. I know there is an element of self control that I need to have when I feel like I am going to explode but it is so hard to have that self control when you are in the moment. This is a constant battle I have struggled with for over 9 years and something I am sure I will continue for years-- uggg!! Any of you out there have any suggestions?? Any of you out there have the mommy guilt like I do?

Christy :)


  1. YES!!!!!!!!!!!! I totally understand your mommy guilt! I have it all the time too. I think it is just part of being a mom. We want the best for our children and sometimes I think we second guess ourselves. You are a wonderful mother. Your children are so lucky to have such a caring, loving mom.

  2. Aviva and I have a ton of suggestions. Not here to hawk a book sale as our book is in most public and university libraries. We also have suggestions on our blog. We just want your guilt-o-meter to decrease, and we'll help you in any way we can to have that happen. One thing I'll share is yelling is at the top of the list as a guilt inducer. So you are not the alone in struggling with yelling. Mommy Guilt is normal, our work has shown it increases with age and with the addition of more children. So, again, your response and guilt are utterly normal in the big picture.
    Now, if this guilt is getting in the way of your enjoyment of your parenting, then I do hope you will head to a library and check us out. Or just come on over to our blog. We'll waive our wand and absolve you immediately!
    Mommy Guilt is a normal part of parenting, we love our kids, we want them to be happy, we worry about if we are making the right decisions or the best ones. It's not easy to be responsible for another person! Please take comfort. It takes way more effort than we think to completely and irreversibly screw up a kid. Kids are resilient, but parents are too! We just gotta keep the convesation going so we don't let our guilt isolate us!

  3. oh yes even mommy 24 treasures has the mommy guilt sometimes ;)
    I am with mine 24 7 so not so much on the time with them, but the being short or grumpy. One thing that did help me alot though was a sad life changing experience. I have never really had to experience death close to me in my family. I have been very blessed. However a couple of years ago our FCC had a family that had a daughter from China diagnosed with cancer and we as a group began feeding them weekly, doing their laundry etc. I visited the very night before the little girl went to heaven. I will NEVER forget that mommy hugging me so tight and me wanting to be able to fix everything so badly and feeling so helpless. I remember how she kept fixing her little girls princess blanket and pillow just right and wiping her little face... I decided then I was going to start enjoying my children more and I have. Whenever the poopy hits the fan around here and things are getting broken or a super mess is made I think of that mommy and daddy wishing they had a mess to clean up.
    I am sure you are a great mom, chldren are so forgiving. They remember all the good times. I think ALL mommy's are a little grumpy now and then:)

  4. Hi, I am Ali. I started reading your blog when I heard you were forgotten. (I am waiting) Sorry I have never posted before. I was going to chime in on the weight post, but didn't. Who doesn't want to lose weight? But mommy you have really hit home. I have one son from a domestic adoption who is 3.5 yrs old. I do love him more than anything in the world but find that I am irritated a LOT! I don't feel I am a pleasant mom. I have no patience. He even told my mom a couple of days ago that he gets really upset with me. This is mostly because he can't get his way. But I feel exactly like you do and I only have 1 child. I would have written it exactly the way you did.

    Just from what I have read about you you are an awesome mom. My mom reads your blog too and I said to her the other day..."have you ever met someone who does so much with their family as they do?" I can't believe all that you do as a family. That is just awesome!! I also can't believe everywhere you take Mia. That girl can go anywhere!

    Anyways, I don't think mommy guilt every goes away. I have wife guilt, child guilt...I think as women we just always want to please everyone. (not like we don't do enough already) Even though we don't we can't. I always say I am going to try and be more patience but that lasts for about a day. You are not alone!

  5. I have watched your site since the beginning and I am the mom that ALI wrote about on your comment site. I was the same way when I had my kids and I was a screamer and yelled a lot . I felt guilty all the time BUT do you know that my kids (47,45,36) have all told me they thought I was a great mom!!
    They only remember somehow that I loved them and we had a good family and church life also. It is rough what we do to ourselves but we are best friends now and we all love each other. They do remember that I was a screamer, but it didn't seem to matter that much years later. You will be fine.!!!!
    Lots of people yell, but don't talk about it. I feel it helps to always be honest!! You are a lucky woman

  6. Oh Christy! I mostly have mommy guilt when I check out your blog and see that you've gone camping or to Bass Pro or to the Ducks game or had friends over to play or let your kids have a dance party in your living room, or have gone to Disney Land...again, just to mention a few. I know it's not all those things that make you a great mom, but all those are memories your boys will have forever. I'm sure they'll far outweigh the yelling. I find myself yelling much more than I like but it's something that I have begun to pray about and I really am doing better. Mostly I do tons of hugs, snuggling and "I love you's" because that's what I want my kids to remember.
    Something else we've started as a family is prayer time together before bed. On our knees, in a circle, everyone takes a turn. Now our 5 year old can muster up the most serious and longest prayer anytime needed! I'll keep you in my prayers. Your boys always have the biggest smiles in all their pictures, so you must be doing something right!

  7. I love summer because I don't have to deal with schoolwork and "encouraging" :) Peter to do his homework and get off to school and all that stuff. I just get to enjoy being with them at the pool, Disneyland, the beach, and other activities that we have the time to do because he doesn't have schoolwork to do.

    I yell a lot less during the summer. Except when he has friends over that are, let's say, challenging. ;)

  8. is SO funny that you post this now. Just last night I had a conversation with my husband that I think I am "groucho mom" and I feel like I am so hard on the kids...and yell at them too much. I told him that I didn't want my kids to look back on their childhood with disdain on their mommy. I am SO there with you. I guess guilt it what you would call it...all I know is that I feel TERRIBLE! I'm a stay at home mom, and don't feel the pressure of having to work outside of the home too...but being cooped up with kids just is so draining on me. Being a stay at home mom now for TEN YEARS!! YIKES! I can't believe that....But...I have totally lost myself and I believe that not having that special outlet for just me, is cause me to be more frustrated with my kids. Used to it would take a while for me to get to that heightened "YELL"...but comes up by 9am every day.

    So...I'm not sure if I have an answer...but I hope that knowing other moms feel the same things that you do helps you feel better. It does me. Reading all of your comments and your blog just blew me away. Not that it makes my frustrations and short temper ok...but it does mean I'm normal!! Now I just need to pursue an outlet outside of my kids....and get through this!!! Thanks for your honesty! I REALLY appreciate it!!

  9. I think that all mommy's have that guilt.. there is never enough time in the day...
    We want our children to always be more then what we are.. or have their childhood to always be better then what we had...
    You are an amazing mother.. you can tell by the look on the kids face... their smiles..
    Everyone is going to yell time to time...
    If you don't then that means that you child is perfect (which we know that isn't true) or you are letting them get away with whatever they want to do and you have NO control over them at all..
    You have to have dicipline in a childs life..
    Hugs to you girly...
    You are a GREAT MOMMY

  10. Oh Christy, you've hit the nail on the head! I've been trying really hard not to get too upset over the little things and keep telling myself that they're only young once. I don't want to be remembered as the mom who always yelled. I pray to be more patient. I think the mommy guilt is just a prerequisite of motherhood!

  11. YOu guys are all awesome. It makes me feel so supported to have all of your comments and to see I am not alone. I tried to comment to each of you individually on your emails but I really do appreciate your support.

    I know I am a good mom but again, I just dont feel like it. I just wrote to Annette and mentioned that I intellectually know I am a good mom but it is hard to get the brain smarts to go into your heart. In my heart is where I store all the guilt and worry what the boys will think of me someday. I loved aunti ar's comment that she yelled at her kids but they (now grown) dotn remember the bad stuff and only remember the good. I pray that is the way it happens with my boys. I think having Mia has caused me to examine it so much more. When the boys were little, when this all started, they were close together in age and I was just in survival mode. I didnt really enjoy the day to day and I honestly can say I didnt really enjoy the boys during that time. Dont get me wrong. I loved the boys, I just didnt enjoy them. I remember having both boobs hanging out sitting on the couch at like 2 in the afternoon and Owen screeming becuase I couldnt get the breast feeding thing and Ethan was climbing up the counters and I just remember thinking that I was just not cut out for the mom thing. I dont belive that now but when stress is high, it is easy to doubt yourself. Whatever the case, I try to make up for my shortcommings with ample hugs and kisses and I love You's. My boys are very receptive to that and in some way I hope that that affection and love erases the mean mom part.

    Thanks for all your support!!!

  12. We have dedicated a four-mom blog to the topic: Working Moms Against Guilt. In other words, you are not alone! Check out the blog if you need to see how other moms deal with (and fight) mommy guilt. Good luck!

  13. I'm with you. I have recently decided that I was going to loosen up a little and give everyone (even myself) a little more latitude. It has helped. We will always have guilt though because we are not perfect, and won't always make the best decisions. The fact that you feel that guilt means that you are a great mom! Your kids are so blessed to have you as their mom!

  14. I think women were born with guilt! :) I completely understand the rat race and wanting to make sure that your children have every opportunity, but then when you feel that they are too scheduled! That is me to a tea! We need to work on that balance in life too. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving....I look forward to more posts when you return.


  15. I can totally relate! I thought it was just me. I have soooo much Mommy guilt too. I also really have to work on having patience with my kids.

  16. Christy,

    I love your blog and honest posts. All those other blogs where the kids all seem perfectly behaved make me feel like a guilty mom.
    I never knew I had a short temper until I had a kid. I always thought I had infinite patience too. Ha! Little did I know...
    Anyway, I think you're a great mom! You do so much stuff with your kids. I feel like such a slacker mom compared to you!