10 Parenting Things I Refuse to Feel Guilty About (Anymore)

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Let's all talk about the elephant in the room, shall we?

Mom Guilt. 

I think this is the very first emotion most women have from the time they realize they are going to be mothers.. you get that positive pregnancy test... and BOOM. Guilt hits. 

"Oh no, I had 3 glasses of wine last weekend!! I'm so awful!!!" 

Guilt can slowly eat away at you day after day as you journey through Motherhood... thanks to that frenemy, Social Media, there is always something about parenting that we feel like we aren't doing well enough, or often enough, or we're doing too often, or doing wrong. 

I am no stranger to Mom Guilt, but now that I'm 2 kids deep and out of the baby phase (making me a seasoned mothering veteran.. right??), I have started to realize  that I have no reason to feel guilty over some of the things I used to feel guilty about. 

No shame in my game anymore!

Glo Photography

Using Formula
Catchfly Photo
Long story short- Austin wasn't a good nurser and I had a very low milk supply. He was about 75% formula fed through his infancy.. and you should have heard the evil things I said to myself about this. I can't repeat them. I cried, I screamed, I locked myself in the bathroom to mope about how I wasn't an exclusively breastfeeding mother and it KILLED me. You know what though? I FED MY BABY. My baby had a full tummy, and now he is 4 and he's strong, he's super healthy, he's tall, he's smart, he's articulate and he is no different in any way from babies who got all breast milk. 

Not Entertaining Them Every Second
My kids are in full time daycare. They are stimulated, talked to, and around people for 8 hours a day. They need downtime too. And time to use their imaginations. And they need to learn that Mommy and Daddy have important things to do sometimes too, and that they need to respect the needs of others. Sometimes I will even turn down Austin's request to be played with and encourage him to find something on his own. That sense of independence, realization that you don't need someone else to fulfill you and keep you happy, and that other people have things they need/want to do as well, are in my book, all important life lessons.

Taking a Real Day Off
Daycare is expensive.. and we don't get money back if my kids miss a day. So if I'm sick, or taking a personal day... you betcha that I take my kids into daycare. Mental health is SO IMPORTANT, especially for Moms. I used to feel really guilty about having a day to myself and sending my kids into daycare. All other Moms want to be around their kids every second.. what was wrong with me? Nothing, that's what. My kids LOVE daycare, they get excited to be there, and I get a day here and there to clean the house, or get over being sick and in the end, everyone is happy.

Feeding Them Kid Food
I used to beat myself up over what Austin was and wasn't eating. I tried to force him to eat what we were eating, I tried all the hiding veggies in food tricks, and still stressed like crazy. Maybe it was having a second baby that finally changed me.. I just didn't have time to stress, or create elaborate veggie-filled toddler foods. Sometimes life is busy so chicken nuggets or mac-n-cheese it is. At least they are eating, and so what if your 18 month old isn't eating your adult dinner of lamp chops or curry? Some kid food now and then isn't going to do any harm.

TV Time
Yep. My kids watch TV. Judge me if you want. Remember that downtime I talked about? That importance of "no, Mommy is not your personal slave who is going to entertain you every second of your waking moments" statement I made above? That's where TV comes in. A Mom's gotta get dinner on the table... or some chore done, or make an important phone call. Don't you remember being a kid and those delicious moments of watching cartoons and being mesmerized by the magic of it all? It was awesome...we all watched TV and turned out just fine... and so will our kids. Let them watch some cartoons. 

Mean Mommy Voice
So there is this "thing" lately about Gentle Parenting. Don't tell your kids "no".. instead, redirect them. Don't raise your voice, instead explain your reasoning and emotions. Can I get an eyeroll up in here??? Sometimes... your kid does something really bad.. like purposefully pushing your 5lb dog off the back of the couch and causing him to land hard on the wood floor and yelp in pain... and you have to make sure that kid KNOWS that is not ok. No one wants to yell at their kid, but you bet your booty my Mean Mom voice comes out and my kids see me as the authority figure Moms need to be. Trust me, you are doing your kid a favor by making them respect that authority. Just hug it out afterwards.

Sleep Training
I'm not trying to be controversial... every family is different, and you have to do what works for you regarding sleep. Since we have two full time working parents in our house, we knew sleep training was going to be our route. Our kids needed to learn how to sleep on their own, so the whole family could get the rest they needed. We spent plenty of time cuddling and holding our babies for naps, but at bedtime.. in their crib they went and we made that a priority... no matter how much it sucked at the time. Plus, I need a lot of room to stretch out at night! 

I always knew I'd be a working Mom. I like having that thing that is "for me" and having a reason to get out the door everyday. I actually earn more than my husband, so my salary is very important to our family in those regards as well. Does it suck sometimes, not being around my kids? ABSOLUTELY. There are days I have cried. There are days I wished my situation was different... but overall, I love working... it provides my family with things we need, puts food on the table, shows my boys that girls can have careers too, and gives me adult time everyday... which keeps my mind happy.

Sometimes parenting is just about survival. You gotta do what you gotta do to survive the day or the phase that your kid is in. So, we bribe. We give Austin small treats and rewards for good behavior at daycare, kindness shown to his little brother, staying in his bed all night and not wandering the house like a lost soul... over time the bribes have faded away and now he just does what he is supposed to do (for the most part). We will use the same tactics with Owen too. Who doesn't love to get promised a hot cocoa if they stay in their bed all night??

Taking Kid Free Weekends/Vacations
Neal and I are lucky enough to have both sets of grandparents close by enough to warrant some quality marriage time. We've been to San Diego, the Oregon coast, and Las Vegas sans kids and I gotta tell ya... it's awesome. Marriage comes first for us, and sometimes you get caught up in the drudgery of everyday and responsibilities and child-rearing and you forget about this love story the two of you have. I LOVED staying at my grandparent's growing up... slumber parties there were totally my jam... so I'm so happy that my kids will have those same experiences with their grandparents. It's totally ok to want to escape with your partner and be excited about it! 

So time to vent Mommas!

Anything you are just so over feeling guilty about???


  1. It is CRAZY how fast the mom guilt comes! I was telling someone that just weeks after we announced that we were pregnant because I was having a really hard time remembering to take my pre-natal vitamin, lol! Love all these examples and I'm sure I'll be feeling them all reeeal soon :)

  2. Omg I WISH I could have weekends away with the husband! I would take a heaping dose of mom guilt for a moment alone with him :-) tear. Let's see, putting them in kids club to work out, leaving them for moms night (more like I feel guilty burdening the hubby), not "doing enough" with them, losing my patience, letting them watch too many movies sometimes...,not getting 1/1 time....this list could go on I'm sure!

  3. Great post! While I am not a mom, I still can appreciate this. Even just thinking about kids in the future, there is the pressure that you have to be this perfect mom, especially with social media where a lot of women show all the perfect moments!

  4. All of this speaks to me. I pumped for my girls (and did some breast feeding) for 9 1/2 months, but around 6 or so months I had to supplement with formula. I felt so guilty and they are just fine. It is hard keeping up with two babies. I need to work as well. I loved my maternity leave with my girls, but I need that interaction. I sometimes want to just be at home with them, but I feel more at peace with this decision. This is a great list. I have or will experience it all as well. And can I suggest Reno as your next trip? haha. We will be visiting Portland this Fall :)

  5. YES! I am over it too - the food, the tv, the mommy time...it took a while to get over, but my kids are alive and doing well. I am totally okay with that. Thanks for your honesty!

  6. i don't have kids but i love this post! the pressure on mothers these days is just ridiculous. my mum did not entertain us every second, she yelled/used a mum voice, had alone time and all sorts of things. she used to kick us out of the house to play outside so she could take a nap, haha. she worked as soon as we were all in school (it was too hard for her to work when we were babies as she was on her own). anyway. all that to say, i turned out just fine (in my opinion) and i respect and love my mum a lot.

  7. Every single one of these. EVERY SINGLE ONE! I take days off for me as often as I can and you know what? I send both of those little nuggets straight to daycare! And B and I do as many date nights and trips as we can sans kids as well. We've been to NYC and Cali since both of ours were born, and Cali is clear across the country. Lol. And yes to being a working momma. I just don't know if I'm cut out for being a SAHM. I think once they're both in school I might want to try so I could drive them around to all of their activities and be the room mom and such, but staying at home with both of them for 24 hours a day 7 days a week? No thank you. I think I would go insane! Haha.

  8. Too too too many times we get sucked into this. No matter how many times I've told myself it's OK, you always need these reminders as a mom. Thanks so much for sharing!

  9. Exactly! It all about the love you show that counts not about the one day to yourself or the food you ate! Love!

  10. Love all of these. I feel guilty when I plop them in front of the TV and toss crackers at them but everyone's happy so I really don't feel too bad.


  11. Jessica - I am so glad you wrote this. I will be at home feeding my toddler thinking I am the worst Mom because its chicken nuggets and mac and cheese again for dinner. Whew, I am not the only one. I resonate with all of these on the list and steer our life in a similar way. Love it and love that I am not alone on this journey. Thanks!

  12. Thank you so much for this post. I always feel like I am the worst mom for the dinners I give our little one or the fact that I just want to take the day off at home without her. But, seems that I am not alone. Also, I feel bad for not feeling bad. Go figure!

  13. Great list, mama! Number one hits home for me- my milk never came in so my little one has been exclusively bottle since week two. It was a gut wrenching decision, but I'm the end was the best for us. And I say it all the time- I still feed my baby! Mom bullies are real. And sometimes we can be hardest on ourselves. Thank you for sharing! xx

  14. I feel guilty when I leave at night or on the weekends for a mom night our or a date with my girlfriends because not only am I not taking time away from Connor but I'm also away from my husband but sometimes I really really need a chance to be just Stephanie, not Mommy or Wife, Stephanie with no titles.

    I love this list!

  15. Thank you SO much for sharing this! I have been having total mom guilt lately for a lot of the samesame reasons you mentioned, it's nice to know you do the same things but don't beat yourself up over it! I really appreciate it ❤

  16. LOVE this!!
    Always dealing with mom guilt here and slowly learning to let it go. We have yet to have a weekend away sans kids though... And I'm trying desperately to work on that one with the hubs. Great post!

  17. I love this post! I am not yet a momma, but can expand your post to include all women guilt! I can also share that as a former kindergarten teacher, the fact that you give your kids independent time is actually helping them...so you should feel the opposite of guilt, there! It killed me to see kids that had no imagination or ability to do things without assistance, because everything had always been done and provided for them!

  18. Are you me?
    I could have written nearly every word... Although not as eloquently mind you.
    Mom guilt is such a mind f#%+ the majority of the time and as if we aren't hard enough on ourselves we've got others judging us. Go you for saying screw it to the guilt, you'll be a better mom for it.

  19. Ahh...whew, I feel so much better! I do/did a majority of those things with McKenna...and although I never felt completely guilty, I feel much better knowing someone else did/does the same things! Bribes - works like a charm! I'm still mastering that one and use it to my advantage.
    Kate :: A Little NW Charm

  20. Love this! I agree with all of your points and have actually blogged about very similar things! My oldest son is at his grandparents right now for Spring Break! :)

  21. This is so awesome! I can relate to pretty much all of these. I worked full time until we had #3 and we also were BIG fans of sleep training. It was our savior!

  22. This is great and so real and true and can I just say I love that used Veteran Mom...ha ha I thought that was something only my Veteran Dad said lol! Thanks for sharing this made my night to read.
    xo, Nicole


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