The outline of a mom and baby on a sunny day

Letting Go Of Guilt

“You’re doing a great job,” our family doctor said after my youngest daughter’s one-year checkup. Tears welled in my eyes because I felt that couldn’t possibly be true. Sure, I made homemade organic food, practiced attachment parenting, did plenty of reading and singing all while also taking care of my three-year-old, but it never felt like enough. There was always a lingering heavy feeling.


The feeling has reared its ugly head time and time again.

When I first dropped off my girls at daycare, lost my temper, and took time for myself.

It’s an unwelcome companion that I can’t seem to get rid of.

Because I should be the perfect mother. I should be able to take care of my children from dawn until dusk without complaint, without asking for help, and without even taking a moment for myself. I should always be kind, patient and understanding. I shouldn’t feel overwhelmed, exhausted or angry.

Because I should be the perfect wife. I should be kind and supportive and not let the late nights at the office or the lack of date nights bother me. I should keep the not so best parts of my day to myself. I shouldn’t complain or criticize or feel resentful.

Because I should be the perfect woman. I should keep the house clean and make delicious, healthy food every day and not to mention look like I stepped out of a magazine. I shouldn’t still be carrying around 20 pounds of extra weight, barely able to keep up with cleaning, and struggling to make dinner.

Because if I’m not all of these things, then maybe I’m not good enough or even worse, I’m failing my children, my husband and myself.

Getting Rid of Mom Guilt For Good - Simply Be Mama

The weight of expectation

I grew up in a culture where women do it all and make it look effortless. My grandma had a hand in raising nine grandchildren while also maintaining the home and cooking food for the entire family. My mom, a single mom, didn’t complain of not having time for herself or worry that she wasn’t doing enough for my brother and me.

When I asked her if she experienced the feeling that plagues so many of us today, she told me she wished she had spent more time with us instead of working. My mom knew though that she did what she had to do to support us. There was no deep, unsettling guilt only acceptance of the situation for what it was.

That’s what we need, acceptance.

Accepting our flaws, our strengths, and our limitations. Accepting ourselves for who we are and reminding ourselves of what we so easily forget.

This is what we need to remember when mom guilt hits.

  1. We are enough.  We think that our kids need the best of everything – the best toys, the best school, the best mom – but all they really need is us. They need us to be present, to play, to love them and to care.
  2. We are doing our best. Sometimes our best is taking the kids to the park and play dates and making a nutritious feast, while other days it’s TV and snacks because we’ve only had four hours of sleep. All that matters is that each day we’re doing the best with what we have.
  3. We need self-care. Sometimes, weeks go by with us not leaving the house without kids in tow or even years when it comes to catching up on sleep, taking time for ourselves or building in some much-needed pampering. We need to ask for help, recharge, and recover as much as we need to take care of our families.
  4. We shouldn’t seek perfection. When I lose myself wanting things to be perfect, I think about what I want to teach my daughters. I want my daughters to know that being authentic and real is more important than putting on a painted, pretty face. That honouring all our feelings, even the tough ones, is what helps us learn and grow. That treating ourselves with love and kindness is just as important as treating others that way.
  5. We are doing things right. Guilt is a reminder that we care and want to do what’s best for our children but getting stuck in guilt isn’t good for anyone. We need to accept that there will be good days and there will be bad days, but neither are an indication of our capability as mothers.

Motherhood has a way of bringing up all our insecurities. Add that to the societal pressures of what women and mothers should be, and it’s just too much, but it doesn’t have to be.

Let’s start by remembering that we are enough as we are and are doing our very best every single day.

What has helped you cope with mom guilt? Share with me in the comments below.

Previous Post Next Post

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Coins & Babble December 1, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    This article is perfect! I agree 100%, I think so many mama’s will relate to this! All of us, at one time or another, welled up with tears when someone told us we were doing a great job, not because we felt we were and appreciated the comment, but because we feel we’re not! I love supportive mama posts, this is so real and honest!

    • Reply Simply Be Mama December 3, 2017 at 11:36 am

      Thank you. I couldn’t agree more that supporting each other and giving a voice to our real-life experiences is so important.

  • Reply Ana V December 1, 2017 at 1:07 pm

    Thanks for describing the feelings most of us have! Very nicely put.

    • Reply Simply Be Mama December 3, 2017 at 11:29 am

      Thank you. It’s so wonderful to know we are not in this alone.

  • Reply kaytlynellis December 1, 2017 at 8:52 pm

    I love this! I feel like you were talking directly to me. I seriously needed this today. Thank you.

    • Reply Simply Be Mama December 3, 2017 at 11:29 am

      Thank you. I am so glad this made a difference in your day.

  • Reply thebusyboymama December 1, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    This is such an important read! I always have mommy guilt about working, spending time with one kid more than other, etc!

    • Reply Simply Be Mama December 3, 2017 at 11:29 am

      Thank you. There are so many things that trigger mommy guilt. It’s good that at least we are aware of them.

  • Reply Evelyn, Path of Presence December 2, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    Like so many, I love this post. Your expression is beautiful, dear – it is our way of being initiated into being full-fledged Moms – what great company we are in! I find that the path of motherhood, for me, is ultimately a path of service, and being present to balance the two – service to our Loved ones and service to ourselves (self-care and tending to our inner and outer needs) is key. Blessing to you on this beautiful journey ❤

    • Reply Simply Be Mama December 3, 2017 at 11:30 am

      Thank you so much. It’s so wonderful we can find support in each other.

  • Reply Mama Writes Reviews (@MaWritesReviews) December 2, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    That guilt will weigh you down for sure.

  • Reply The Cinnamon Mom December 5, 2017 at 12:52 pm

    The pressure to be “perfect” and the constant feeling of failure is shared by all mommies. You’re right, we shouldn’t seek perfection. We should just do the best we can for our specific family (without comparing ourselves to other moms) and find a good balance of self-care. I’m sure there’s no one else your kids would want as their mama!

  • Reply Why kindness should be your new year’s resolution – Simply Be Mama December 21, 2017 at 10:03 am

    […] Letting Go Of Guilt […]

  • Reply Why Kindness Should Be Your New Year's Resolution - Simply Be Mama April 1, 2018 at 11:04 pm

    […] Letting Go Of Guilt […]

  • Leave a Reply