Dads don’t often understand mommy-guilt or why we feel it. They have no problem taking care of themselves, reading the Times, or leaving first thing in the morning to play soccer or go for a run. I talk with my girlfriends regularly about why our husbands are better about taking care of themselves, and don’t even feel a tiny bit guilty when they leave. Our husbands encourage us to take care of ourselves, to go to yoga or for a run, but we often feel too guilty to leave, and can’t tear ourselves away from the Saturday morning pancakes routine. At least in my circle of moms, the strength of guilt doesn’t equally relate to the amount of time we have with our kids or how much we work outside the house. Yes, it’s absolutely worse if you work long hours outside the home and only have weekends with your kids, but I would argue that even full-time primary caregiver moms are plagued with guilt, even if they leave the kids with their partner, and know they’re going to have fun with or without us. I’ve juggled all the possible work-family scenarios: from full-time primary caregiver to full-time job with nanny, to a 50/50 primary caregiver job-share with my husband. In all of these scenarios, even though I know that I MUST take care of myself in order to be good mom and balanced woman, I have problems tearing myself away from my kids. I always feel torn between giving equal time/love to each of my kids, my husband, and business, and I always feel guilty when I leave to do something just for me. Sound familiar? So moms, I’m asking you, why is this? Is it the parenting culture in which we live? I want to know what YOU think and why us moms are so guilt-ridden?
Hi, I’m Natalie, founder of Mommywise. I’m a Brooklyn mom of two (now) teenagers, PPD survivor, still humbled by the early years of parenting. I started this blog in 2004 as a way to help other parents who felt as dark and lonely as I felt to feel less shame, normalize the feelings of not loving parenthood, and raise awareness about postpartum mood disorders. I’m passionately committed to helping new parents feel more joy, offering sustainable employment for women and mothers, and contributing to positive change in the world.