THE BLOG
04/29/2016 04:01 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Surviving Working-Mom Guilt

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guilt /gilt/

Noun

The fact of having committed a specified or implied offense or crime.

Ever since I had my baby girl I have been ridden with guilt: for not breastfeeding long enough, for not giving her enough attention, for not parenting correctly, for working too much, for not feeding her the right foods, for feeding her too much processed foods, the list goes on and on. Ack! For crying out loud! (my grandma used to say), I grew up on the little yellow cracker fishies which are now deemed "processed food" aka "evil"!

So what is this "guilt" feeling that overcomes me as a mom?

When I sat down to write about this topic and googled the word guilt, I was little shocked of the definition. The fact of having committed a specified or implied offense of crime. Wait a minute! I didn't commit an offense because I went out for a girls night to catch up with my girlfriends? Or I'm pretty sure going away with my husband for a "parent's weekend" was not a violation? And going to work to make a great future for my family is not what I call a crime! So I now wonder why in the world we call it "guilt" when we do something for ourselves or for another person besides our children. Is our feeling of guilt self-induced or is from our social influence? I'm not sure, but I do think we are in a very different place now with social media, technology advances and portability. I don't think my mom dealt with this intense guilt like I do, because she made the best choices for her family. Not because of what anyone, or social media or Pinterest told her what she should be doing (or what she is not doing)!

There is a perfect-mom phenomenon that is going on with the moms we see on the playground or on our social media, you know who they are, those moms who make the healthiest meals every night which includes no less than 20 ingredients, the mom who makes endless handmade crafts and don't forget the working mom who has makeup and hair perfect daily while "getting" to work amongst other adults while stopping to get pedicures and dry cleaning at their own leisure. Don't be fooled because these moms are all fooling us! I know because I am guilty of being one of them! I have been the mom who went overboard on my daughter's birthday parties, or made a delicious meal and shared it with friends, but truth be told, that image of perfection is not what it really is. Every mom struggles, every mom stresses out because they don't know what to fix the family for dinner, or the laundry is overflowing or the kids are crying or they haven't talked to their husband in weeks.

We all are just trying to make it the best we know how, and for starters I am ridding myself of this guilt. I rid you of the guilt! I am over this whole guilt thing, arent' you? I think that the word should be banned from a parent's vocabulary. We are not committing crimes if we choose to do something for the better of our self or family! There I said it! That felt good!

Life is about choices, compromises, promises and failures, it is how we handle them which is important!

Originally posted on Scottsdale Moms Blog, March 2013