There’s one thing that seems to unite all mothers whether they’re young or old, black or white, employed or unemployed. Guilt.
I don’t know about you, but it’s rare when I feel like I’m enough – as a mom, as a person. I’ve chosen to quit my career to be at home with my children. Shouldn’t that decision be enough? Well, it’s not. I’m never doing enough as a mom. I have days, weeks even, when I feel like I’m an imposter mom. But I work really hard to shush that guilty voice with my favorite mantra, “I am (mom) enough.”
What do moms feel guilty about? The question should be what don’t moms feel guilty about?
I’ve been around the playground a few times. Here’s a roundup of things topping a mom’s guilt trip list.
Add the word enough to any of phrases below.
I’m No Health Nut (physical and mental health).
Not eating healthy
Not drinking healthy beverages
Not getting seven to eight hours of sleep at night (hahah!)
Not brushing my kids’ teeth
Not limiting my kids’ sweets
Not getting my kids down for a nap
Not getting my kids to bed early at night
I’m No Hobbyist.
Not making more time for hobbies
Not making more time to manage old friendships
Not making more time to make new friends
I’m No Homemaker.
Not cleaning the house
Not straightening the playroom/play area
Not managing the laundry loads
Not making everyone’s beds in the morning
Not cleaning the car
Not doing the yard work
Not fixing things around the house
I’m No Housewife.
Not putting on makeup
Not “doing” my hair
Not dressing better
Not planning date nights
I’m No Home-Cook.
Not nursing my baby
Not making my own baby food
Not doing the weekly meal planning and preparation (creating menus, making grocery lists, and doing the grocery shopping on the regular)
Not cooking at home
Not knowing how to cook
Not preparing or feeding my kids healthy meals
Not cutting out fast food from
my kids’ our diets
Not cleaning and putting away the dishes
I’m No Educator (emotional, mental, physical, spiritual/character education).
Not reading to your children
Not planning educational activities
Not being on the PTA
Not volunteering for school functions, e.g. fairs, field trips, etc.
Not going outside
Not dressing my kids appropriately for the outdoors, when I do go outside
Not enforcing screen time rules
Not saying prayers or going to church
I’m No Secretary.
Not being on time for my kids’ scheduled drop offs and pickups
Not remembering theme days (e.g. pajama day) at school
Not doing x, y, or z task (e.g. mailing a letter, paying a bill, calling the doctor’s office), especially if your partner asks me
Not staying on top of scheduling my kids’ (and maybe partner’s) appointments
Not organizing “family fun” outings
Not paying a bill on time
Not staying within my family’s budget
Not cleaning up my e-mail inbox
These phrases apply to working and stay-at-home moms (SAHMs). Originally, I thought I’d have two separate lists, one for working moms and the other for stay-at-home moms, then I realized my lists were nearly identical. Most moms feel guilty about something – maybe not about the same things, but that guilty feeling is shared.
A Final Thought – From the Pillow
Guilt is guilt whether you’re a stay-at-home mom or working mom.
So let’s cease the mommy war between SAHMs and working moms. Our guilt unites us. We’re more alike than we are different.
We know “mommy guilt” exists. But is there such a thing as “daddy guilt”?