Mother’s Guilt: I probably shouldn’t, but I feel guilty when…

Mother’s Guilt: we’ve all experienced it. Whether it’s taking five minutes for yourself, leaving a crying toddler at nursery or spending all morning running errands. We asked our readers what they feel guilty about…

At The Early Hour, we’re all about honesty. So when we read a post by a mum on Instagram saying that she’d been away without the kids, had the best time ever and hadn’t missed them at all (though was delighted to see them when she got back), we breathed a collective sigh of relief. Because she’s not the only one who’s felt like that.

It got us thinking: are there other situations that us parents feel guilty about, although we probably shouldn’t? Like giving up breastfeeding, or handing the kids a chocolate bar to keep them quiet… So we asked our readers: Is there anything you do, that you feel guilty about but that ACTUALLY, when you think about it, probably isn’t really all that bad?

Knowing that you’re not the only one who does it, or the only one who feels guilty about it, is sometimes all the reassurance a mum needs. Here are The Early Hour readers’ examples of Mother’s Guilt…

Mother’s Guilt: I Probably Shouldn’t, But I Feel Guilty When…

  • “Probably having five minutes to myself, yesterday reading in the sunshine having a rose wine. I could have been doing 101 household or work bits but I just wanted time for me.”
  • “Me and my husband make decisions together about every aspect of Bobby’s upbringing. If he’s at work and there’s a decision to be made I make it with him in mind. I don’t feel guilty about any situations, apart from the time that he spends away from us due to the long hours we work. But we know it will work out and he’s gained excellent social skills due to the time he has spend with his childminder.”
  • “I feel guilty when I’m mum selfish. Like when I have errands to run and have crap to do, dragging poor Betty around with me. THEN we drive past a park on route and you see a sea of good mums and dads playing with their little people. Then you end up questioning if you stimulated them enough today when they take an age to go down to sleep…? It’s ok, tomorrow is a new day and we’re off to the beach..”
  • “Having Max in the buggy all day (especially on holiday, like we are now, when it is hot and humid), enjoying extra hands to help with him for a week whilst on holiday and not feeling desperate to have him back for a cuddle at any point, guilty for writing that last comment about my guilt. Basically motherhood is slowly but surely teaching me that I will feel guilty or worried about something a lot of the time! Thank goodness the highs are very high.”
  • “Feel very guilty about going to work as my daughter hates nursery at the moment. Every morning it’s tears and it kind of haunts me on and off all day”
  • “I feel guilty that I get stressed and overwhelmed in front of my kids. I feel guilty that I’m not teaching them how to calmly problem-solve any given situation. I know they pick up on my meltdowns, how could they not, and that makes it all the worse. I know, too, however that overall they feel loved and provided for, and that they’re happy. But I’m very quick to blame myself if I observe new psychology/ anxious behaviour in either of them.

Are there times when you experience mother’s guilt? What’s it usually about? Or is the list never-ending….?