The Hailey Herald

The Hailey Herald

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Mommy Guilt

Mommy guilt...we've all experienced it...we've all tried to overcome it...we all try to find a way to deal with it.  I remember my first experience with it.  I had just found out I was pregnant with my oldest son....I recalled I had drank alcohol tailgating at the OSU/Michigan game (I didn't know I was pregnant).  I worried and paced for days until I spoke with my doctor about it all.  I was afraid I had done permanent damage to my child.  I "might" have over-reacted in that instance.  But it definitely started the long line of "guilt" I felt over my children.  What I did do and what I failed to do.  Did I feed them enough?  Did I feed them the right thing?  Did I read to them enough?  Did I show them enough love?  Did I teach them the right things for school and how to be a good person? 

With Hailey, I have had mommy guilt but with more intensity.  Am I working with her enough?  Am I challenging her enough intellectually?  Am I pushing her gross motor skills enough?  Am I working on find motor skills?  What more can I do for speech?  Am I spending too much time with Hailey?  Am I spending enough time with the boys?  Will they resent their sister?

Recently though, the tables are turning.  Hailey is attending a LOT of her brothers' activities.  Soccer practices and soccer games are consuming about 4 evenings a week and our Saturdays.  We try to tag team and only take the child to the field that has practice but with my husband's work schedule that doesn't always work and there are days that both boys have activities at the same time but different places. 

Earlier this week we had the 2 children at 2 different places at the same time scenario.  I had Hailey with me.  We had about 30 minutes to kill while the oldest was in religion class.  I gathered a bunch of toys from her backpack and let her play on the van floor.  Then it hit me...she had spent Saturday the same way while her brother played soccer in the pouring down rain.  I feel bad sometimes.  I feel like maybe we aren't giving her the attention she needs to reach her maximum potential. 

Hailey's playroom for the evening

I guess she doesn't look too distraught, does she?
In the end, I realize that my mommy guilt is self-imposed and it is more a disappointment of my expectations than anything.  I realize there are positives and negatives to every situation (only child vs more than one child).  She is quite adaptable and seems to go with the flow of it all.

For the record...I do hate mommy guilt :-)

She doesn't seem scarred for attending too many of big brothers' events :-)


  1. I think Hailey is going to be a sports star and fan because of all her experience at her brothers' sporting events! Also, last week when we were out and about I let Ben play in the back of our car with his toys:) Last but not least, mommy guilt sucks - we all know we shouldn't feel guilty but we just can't help it!

  2. If it makes you feel better I have already let Cora watch some Sesame Street and Signing Time today. And that's really with nothing else on my schedule, except to be exhausted. It's hard, always feeling like you're not doing enough. But it's kind of almost impossible to balance everything. Too much time on one thing and not enough on another? Of course. Especially when your child shows a preference or when you have other kids in the mix. I'm recently realizing I need to be working more on fine motor and had kind of avoided it. And that I've been avoiding gross motor because Cora chooses not to do any of it. It's a balancing act. Sometimes a few things slip away for a bit. And it's totally OK. I really doubt that Hailey is missing out on anything. She has access to stimulation in all areas, even when she's not the primary participant. Oh how I wish we could ban the mommy guilt altogether.

  3. I hate mommy guilt too and I have so much of it. I think it is normal for all of us as mothers to feel that way. We want what is best for our child/children, but how do we know what is truly the best? Hailey is so lucky to have two brothers to learn from (and a mama who loves her so very much!). She will get more from them than from any therapy. Her van "play-yard" is awesome!

  4. I am VERY familiar with mommy guilt. Glad to know I'm not alone.

  5. Oh, mommy guilt.....I feel it each and every day!!! If I don't do enough with Madi, I have it for her. If I spend too much time with Madi, I have it for Taylor. When you figure out the "magic" answer to balancing everything, will you please share it with me! :)

    Hailey is learning SO much from her two big brothers.....I agree with Anna, she is probably getting more from playing with them than any therapy session!

  6. I hate mommy guilt too. Great idea turning the back of the car into a play area : )