10 Things Moms Should Stop Feeling Guilty About

My wise friend M said that being a mom means feeling guilty about everything you do. My equally wise friend T said, “Mom guilt! Mom guilt! Where the pickle is Dad guilt???” (Only she didn’t say “pickle.”) Since guilt and worry seem to naturally pervade the lives of mothers, I’ve come up with a list of things you can stop feeling guilty about, starting now:

  1. It’s okay if your kids sometimes bore you. Playing “put our fire gear on and get in the fire truck and put out the fire” 80,000 times a day is boring.
  2. It’s okay to let your kids wear pajamas all day, not because you are so open-minded about their self expression, but because you are too darn tired to change them.
  3. It’s okay if you only buy your kids toys that you want to play with.
  4. It’s okay to want time away from your kids. Are you kidding me? Imagine spending that much time with your spouse.
  5. It’s okay if your neighbor’s kids eat sushi, curried carrot soup and vegetarian goulash, but all yours will eat is bagels.
  6. It’s okay to occasionally be astounded by just how absurdly stupid your kids can be (my two-year-old gets angry every time he sees a picture of himself holding his special blanket), while secretly believing they are smarter than everyone else’s kids.
  7. It’s okay to buy and not bake your contribution to any gathering, and to forget to point this out when you get compliments on it.
  8. It’s okay if you don’t know what pre-school, kindergarten, middle school, high school, college and post-graduate institution your neighborhood is zoned for.
  9. It’s okay to tell your children elaborate white lies in order to make the day a little easier: “Yes, these are the kind of socks superheroes wear. I looked it up on the internet.”
  10. It’s okay if every other kid has suddenly learned to tie their shoes (or write their name, or recite the days of the week in Latin) and it hadn’t yet occurred to you to teach yours.

Go ahead, add your guilty secret to the list. Let that mom-guilt go, one Safeway cupcake at a time.


Photo Credit

About Peryl Manning

Peryl Manning is somewhat (and pleasantly) surprised to find herself the mother of two almost freakishly dimpled little boys. She isn’t sure she should be the one in charge though; at thirty-something she still manages to somehow end up sitting in her own gum, and last week she found her credit card in the fridge with the leftover pizza. She loves mellow moms and Ayelet Waldman; she hates judgy moms and truffle oil. She juggles kids, contributing to the Seattle Post Intelligencer, Momtastic and Mamazina Magazines, and other parenting publications, with whatever grace she can summon.


  1. Amen to it all! Amen!

  2. Oh, thank God because I am an offender on all accounts.

    Twitter Name:

  3. TechyDad says:

    Trust me, there’s dad guilt too. When I go to work, I often feel like I’m missing out on so much of my sons’ lives. My wife drops them off to school and picks them up. She also deals with any school issues they have. (Being a teacher by trade helps her with that.)

    As for me? I see them in the morning as I’m rushing to get ready for work. Then I come home, say hi to them, get changed, make dinner, serve dinner, and then clean up from dinner. I’m lucky if I get a half hour to play with them before bedtime.

    If I go to do anything just by myself (a rarity), I feel guilty – like I’m abandoning my wife and kids.

    I want to do so much more with my kids, but there just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day.

    Twitter Name:

    • Peryl Manning says:

      Oh, I know dads feel it too! I know the conflict my husband feels on a daily basis. I think women are more likely to share their guilt with each other – simply because they see each other more. Away with dad guilt too!!

  4. Oh my god, thank you. That thing about the picture & the special blanket? Hilarious.

    Twitter Name:

  5. Kathie says:

    It’s okay to NOT want to be team mom/snack coordinator/room mom/troop leader/class volunteer….right? That is okay, isn’t it? My year as team mom for my son’s t-ball team pretty much put me off Little League all together.

    Twitter Name:

  6. Motpg says:

    You said it Mama!! But is it ok if your kids eat sushi, carrot soup and vegetarian anything but you eat all the macaroni and cheese?

  7. Ms. A says:

    Sure wish I would have figured all this out when I was raising my kids. I still have guilt!

  8. Issa says:

    Safeway cupcakes? Shoot. I’m the spoon/napkin queen. What’s worse is I’m a great baker, I’m just not willing to do it for the kids classes.

    I’d like to add…It’s okay not to volunteer much at all at the elementary school.

    Twitter Name:

  9. Even though I know all this and am GUILTY of all of it? I still can’t let myself NOT feel guilty. I secretly believe everyone else is perfect behind closed doors. And I feel like if they were flies on my wall, they’d be horrified. Ugh. Isn’t there a pill I can take to make this feeling go away?

    Plus? I have the twin guilt thing. One is very much on the verge of reading, and the other we have to fight with to get her to work on it. One has lost 3 teeth while the other has lost none. One has been dry at night for years and the other is still pissing in her pull ups every few nights and we have resorted to a bed-wetting alarm. Holy fuck, why can’t I get JUST ONE THING right with both kids?!?!? ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

    Twitter Name:

  10. Alexandra says:

    You name it, I know I did it to them.

    I am convinced that had they been raised by someone else, they’d be the most well adjusted living up to their potential NORMAL kids out there.

    Instead, I have quirky intelligent and hilarious.

    OH, well.

    Twitter Name:


  1. phuket holiday…

    10 Things Moms Should Stop Feeling Guilty About…

Speak Your Mind