Monday, May 3, 2010


The other day I found myself alone in my house. This doesn't happen often and while I had a list a mile long of things to do, I found myself aimlessly flipping through channels on the TV just because I could without interruption. This landed me on the Ellen Show with guest Jennifer Lopez. I happen to like Jennifer Lopez and so I stopped to listen to the interview. Jennifer Lopez has twins about the age of my son and so the topic of motherhood came up. Ellen asked Lopez what the biggest surprise of motherhood is, that you always hear about how hard it is but it is worth it all and the best thing anyone has ever done. Lopez thought for a few moments and then gave the best answer I've ever heard. The biggest surprise of motherhood, she said, is the guilt. I found myself shouting yes at the TV. Nobody ever told me about the guilt.

You feel guilty doing something by yourself - whether it's taking a shower or going out for an hour. You feel guilty for not liking your body, for picturing where you would be without kids, for not wanting sex, for wanting to pursue your own dreams and hobbies. You feel guilty when the house isn't clean and if you clean it you feel guilty for taking time from your children to clean. You feel guilty when you serve chicken nuggets, french fries, and corn for the umpteenth time because it is the easy way out and everyone is satisfied. Then there is the guilt at the end of the day as you ask yourself were you the best Mom possible. Maybe I shouldn't have yelled at my two year old as he peed on my bed. Did I give my children enough hugs? Am I teaching them the things that are important for them to succeed in life?

As I write this my youngest is waking up from her nap and I feel guilty that I am not responding immediately. There is even a small amount of guilt that I took time to write this instead of doing my chores.

Nobody told me about the guilt and nobody has told me how to handle the guilt. So, it all builds up until it overflows in tears and hormones, usually directed toward my husband. And as he holds me and tells me it will all be okay I can't help but feel guilty that he had to come home to such an emotional wife.


  1. It's true. The guilt is always there. Nobody has told you how to handle it because I don't think most of us have figured it out either. As of now, I'm just trying to curb it a bit. I might not be the best possible mom I can be...but hey, I didn't kill any kids today, did I? Sometimes you gotta take the wins where you can.

  2. Amen. Unfortunate, but true. I'm trying hard to let go, but you know, there is ALWAYS something to be guilty about. Not wanting sex, wanting it, cleaning the house, not cleaning the house, being angry at your husband...all of it! I think that is a topic that we don't love to talk about, either we hide it, or maybe others don't have it. I feel way to guilty to ask! I know things get better...either they do, or I will. Still waiting, but trying not to go too crazy in the interim.

  3. Excellent post and very well said. I was thinking before I posted a comment, that I think we all feel some level of guilt because we care...a lot. We want the best-a clean house, a well balanced family, spiritual, a sparkling love life, cultural views, well behaved children...the list could go on...and on. We need to be the best we can-today. Sometimes the best we can do is not kill the kids and pick up the spilled Cherios all over the floor. We usually make up for those days on the tomorrows. We need to give ourselves some slack and find support along the way. I try to remind myself that we are doing one of the most noble callings (even when I am picking poopy out from under Ella's fingernails) and that we are always giving of ourselves. It can be emotionally taxing and draining. We need to find the bright moments, hold on tight to them and then give ourselves a break.

  4. may/may not remember me. Stacy Mayo is my name...We lived in Stillwater about 10 years ago. You babysat my 2 oldest kids once or twice. I have enjoyed reading your mom's blog and clicked over to your blog from hers. It is fun seeing you all grown up with 2 cute kids! I also worked with Sis. Holyoak in RS briefly before they split the wards. I thought Lily was a wonderful lady and obviously Whitney follows much in her mother's footsteps!

    That being said...just wanted to say...such a good post. You are right!...and the above comments have put it nicely...we're all there. I certainly don't know how to handle the guilt...but as the pp said...we feel the guilt because! And that is what makes you a fabuless mommy! Your little ones are lucky to have you!

    Hope you don't mind me butting in on your little chat...I'm not a complete stranger!:)

  5. Even when one gets older the guilt is still there a little. Was I a good enough parent to my children, am I a good grandma. If we didn't have some sort of guilt we would not try to better ourselves! With that said, I think we all are doing a good job. Be happy with what God has given you! Great husbands and beautiful children!! (even when they do bug the snot out of ya)

  6. I'm so glad that you put into words what often times, I feel I just can't explain. The Guilt. What a burden. I teared up as I read the things you wrote, because it just spoke to me on so many different levels.
    I suppose all we really can do it try. And like everyone has said, we do the best we can. We're not perfect (not an excuse. it's a fact.)So we rely on prayer, scripture study and even the Law of the Fast to push our way through the guilt, overcome the weaknesses, and seek strength in the areas we feel we fall short. We ARE mommies who care!

    Loved this post. Truly what I needed to read tonight.