mum guilt

The Guilt

Mum Guilt…that’s what a phone in on This Morning centred around. Stemming from the fact that one of the Kardashians had left her two month old baby to go to Coachella festival.

Not Just Mums…

Firstly, I have issues with the fact that so many things that should be relevant to parents in general are associated with Mum’s only. Whether you’re a Mum or a Dad, the guilt is real. Also, I’d posted on my Instagram stories that they may as well devote the entire programme to it because, let’s be honest, Parental Guilt isn’t just about leaving them is it? It literally embodies every part of being a Mum or Dad.

First Time Mum Guilt

Our son was born (on my birthday) in June 2014 and, for the first three and a half years, there were many times when I felt guilty: the first time I gave him formula after successfully breastfeeding him just so others could put him to bed, the first time I put him in his own room (at just ten weeks old), when I gave him a jar of baby food instead of making my own, when I left him with my Mum babysitting so I could go out, when I started him at nursery…the list is endless.


Second Time Mum Guilt

Since our daughter arrived in December 2017, I’ve found that the guilt has developed to a whole new level. As a parent to my son alone, although I felt those feelings of guilt creep up now and then, they were never a dominant part of life and I was able to push them out of my head, knowing that I was doing the best that I could.

Double Guilt

Since becoming a parent to two, those feelings have double and are experienced almost daily. They relate to my son and daughter and the way they are treated.mum guilt

  • On the first day of my daughters life, I missed my son’s Christmas performance at pre-school because I’d just given birth. I felt guilt I wasn’t there even though his Dad and two cousins went to watch.
  • I feel guilt that I change in voice when I speak to my daughter compared to when I speak normally to my son. (Incidentally this is just that I speak to her in that high pitched baby voice. You know, the really annoying one that makes them smile.)
  • I wonder if my son realises that the stupid baby talk is just to engage with her and not that I love her more?
  • Guilt creeps in about sending my son to preschool three days a week when I’m on maternity leave and he could be at home with my and his sister.
  • I don’t do as many baby activities with my daughter as I did my son – GUILT. Even though we do swimming (which he did) and baby massage (which he didn’t but we went to other baby groups).

See, even now I feel the need to justify my decisions by writing in italics to explain it. Sometimes it feels like my daughter just gets moved from station to station: activity mat to bumbo to jumperoo (aka “circle of neglect”) to bouncer, because I’m cooking, doing washing, tidying up or some other mundane job that needs doing.

Feeding Guilt

My daughter is still exclusively breastfed. I have no issue with formula. I used it with my son! However, she has done so well on my milk I don’t see the point in paying for something I can get for free. I’ve been out a couple of times and left a bottle of expressed milk. We go away for two nights in August for a wedding. I’m already feeling guilty about leaving our daughter over night far earlier than we ever left our son. Irrationally I will feel guilty if, on top of that, she can’t have my milk so I’m already trying to get a stash in the freezer for that.

  • Utterly stupidly, I feel guilt that I had drugs in my birth to my son and none with my daughter.
  • I feel guilt when I lose it with my son. When I’ve asked him to do something a million and one times and he’s still wafting about. All airy fairy.
  • I feel guilt when I give him a “beige” tea (aka nuggets/fish fingers etc with chips and beans).
  • And I feel guilty when he watches a lot of TV in one day. Alternatively, I feel guilty if we’re out all day and the kids are being dragged around!
  • For goodness sake, I even feel guilt that I have more pictures of our daughter on my phone than my son! 
mum guilt


Mainly the guilt is the comparison between my son and daughter. I want it to be as equal as possible as they grow up. I’m not an unreasonable person and, for the most part, I know all my worries are silly. However that doesn’t stop me from feeling it.

In Conclusion

When I think about it, I guess it parental guilt comes from us all wanting to do our best. We care. I also think it comes from society who have become so much more judgey! Parenting is such an individual thing. We all have our own beliefs and morals which we want to bring our children up by. Each child is completely unique. Despite all intentions we have about the way we would like to parent, sometimes it doesn’t happen like that. We are our own worst critic so that last thing we need is others adding to that.

I know a lot of Mums. I know a lot of unbelievably fantastic Mums. But I don’t know any perfect Mums…and that’s okay! A seed of Parental Guilt is placed in your head the moment that little baby is placed in your arms. There is nothing you can do about it because the majority of it is completely out of your control! The media and other people feed and water the seed. We end up exhausted mentally too as it grows.

The guilt will never go away.

No one is perfect. Shit happens. The good thing about it is that it shows we love and care for our children. What it shouldn’t do is take over your thoughts completely. Go easy on yourself. You’re doing the best you can and that is the logic that Katie, from Hurrah for Gin, talks about. The logic that is in our brain and we just need to remember to use occasionally.

mum guilt
Image Source (click for hilarious pictures of the Mum Guilt Fairy)

Who wrote the rule book on when you should and shouldn’t leave your newborn?! Leave the Kardashians be!

How have you felt Parental Guilt? How do you manage it? Are you a Dad – what guilt do you experience? Comment below or find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest – don’t forget to click like/follow! 🙂

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  1. The guilt thing really surprised me because I’d already made a lot of the decisions and come to terms with them… or so I thought! Like going back to work, formula feeding, etc – once they were actually happening I felt so bad. It just gets fed from all corners. I like your point about it showing that you care though. <3 #KCACOLS

  2. There is so much guilt in our lives. I am going back to work full time next year and the guilt over not being there for the kids so much has started already! #kcacols

  3. My son is 13 months now and I feel a lot of guilt about things, but I think it’s great that mums are talking about this. From talking to other parents and reading posts like this I realised quite early on that my guilt is normal yet unnecessary, and that helped me be more rational about it. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time.

    1. You know, I’ve had a lot of people who i know personally and who don’t usually say anything about my blog, make comment about this one so I think it’s hit a nerve (in a good way) with quite a few people. x

    1. Awww you’re welcome. It really annoys me when people focus everything on Mums and not parents. I think a lot of the emotions we experience are relevant to both sexes. x

  4. The mum guilt wasn’t a surprise to me and I deal with it better than I did, though I suspect it will wax and wane as these things do. #kcacols

  5. Without wishing to sound arrogant, I think I gave up on guilt a while ago. Our daughter is now 8 and I just feel like I’m doing the best I can, but that I deserve to do stuff for me too. That’s not to say i never feel the guilt but it’s not there as much. #kcacols

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