Motherhood guilt: can you ever beat it?


Motherhood guilt starts pretty much as soon as you pee on a stick and that line turns blue. Even before that little person (or two in my case) enters your life. The thoughts begin…”I shouldn’t have had that glass of wine yesterday“, and “I hope I didn’t overdo it at the gym“.

As magical as pregnancy is, it also made me feel vulnerable, scared, worried and (mostly) guilty about my decisions – even though I gave up anything and everything that I was supposed to, and followed all the advice to the letter.

And I can tell you, that even now that my twins are 3 years old, the guilt doesn’t wane.

The current Motherhood guilts that I get? Currently (as a part-time working at home Mum) it is the following:

a) Do I spend enough time with my twins? Is it quality time? Do I play with them enough?

b) When they are at preschool and I really enjoy the quiet time – should I feel this happy? Is it wrong not to miss them more?

c) Am I on my phone too much?

d) Do they watch too much TV?

If I really think hard about it however, I KNOW that I am a great Mum. I am. I always put them first, I dote on them, I love them so much. I do spend a lot of time playing with them and developing them. We also go out together a lot. And I know deep down that I have nothing to worry about.

But I do still have these thoughts. They often play on my mind.

And I am not alone. My friends all have their own guilts. Some of my working friends feel guilty about leaving their children with someone else. They tell me how hard this is. I know, (for some, not all) that this is pretty tough for them.

But we shouldn’t feel like this though should we?

Why do we beat ourselves up?

We are GREAT Mothers. All doing a superb job. Yes okay some days we fail – massively. We are too tired to paint or draw and instead use TV to entertain them. Other days we shout (a lot). Other days we work too hard. But mostly we get it right.

For we love them, dearly. They are always, always on our mind. They are our entire world. We would give our life for theirs. They are our everything.

And then there are the days that we spend hours in the park, pushing their swing back and forth. The days where we bake with them. Make cards. Do playdoh. Read lots of books. Go out all day and experience something new together. Go to soft play and climb over all the equipment – just because they love to do it. Sure, we might not have enough of these days, but we do have them. And we try our very best.

There are enough challenges and trials in life – enough thrown at us; beating ourselves up about our role as a Mother shouldn’t be one of them.

I get things wrong. I do. I am still learning on the job; I wish there were more hours in the day. But mostly I get a lot right. Because I am such a good Mother – my twins adore me.

And these guilty feelings? Well it’s probably just because we care so damn much, isn’t it?

Next time that this thing called ‘Motherhood guilt’ tries to grip a hold of me and get inside my head, I am going to try so hard to shake it off and ignore it. As hard as it might be.


Mami 2 Five
Jess Soothill

Jess is a Mother of twins, blogger and writer.

Find me on: Web | Twitter | Facebook


  1. November 28, 2015 / 6:48 pm

    Beautiful post Jess! The guilt feels so overpowering but you’re right we are great mothers and we do whatever we feel is best at the time-sometimes were wrong but mainly were right! Thank you x

    • Jess
      November 28, 2015 / 7:39 pm

      Thanks. I think we have a hard enough time without how much we beat ourselves up too. I need to start remembering just how good I am!! Even if some days I’m not 😉 xx

  2. November 29, 2015 / 1:28 pm

    Lovely post! I too get the same guilt all the time especially if I’m tired from work and can’t be bothered to do anything for my kids, when I just let them watch TV because I have no energy to entertain them or I have chores to do. But then being that way doesn’t mean we fail as a mum because most of the things we do are for them. Thanks for sharing, at least I know I’m not alone in this motherhood guilt. #sundaystars

    • Jess
      November 29, 2015 / 3:03 pm

      No you are not! I think we all feel it at some point but as long as we are doing the best that is all the matters! xx

  3. November 29, 2015 / 3:08 pm

    I love this post. I feel so much mummy guilt and always worry I’m not doing it right (especially the phone thing!) thanks for making me realise I’m actually doing an ok job 🙂 xx

    • Jess
      November 29, 2015 / 3:50 pm

      You are – we all are! I guess we do ‘mess up’ sometimes but we are only all learning! And human 🙂 xx

  4. November 29, 2015 / 3:13 pm

    Motherhood guilt is such a horrible feeling! I sometimes feel no matter which route I take option a, or option b, I will be making the wrong choice. But you’re right, you just have to push it aside and remember that you’re the best mum that you can be. And you will always be your kids’ best mum!

    • Jess
      November 29, 2015 / 3:51 pm

      You are so right. No matter what you select there’s always an element of guilt. Hard to do but important to ignore feeling guilty – because we all mostly try so, so hard xx

  5. November 30, 2015 / 2:55 pm

    Ahh I hate mummy guilt, I actually wrote about it a while a go because it was getting me down so much. I wonder what the biological point of motherhood guilt is? There must be some stupid reason why all us mums feel the same, even when deep down we know we are doing the best we can. I get it a lot over the food Leo eats (or doesn’t), somehow I feel it is my fault that he refuses to eat any vegetables..ever. I am hoping he will get over this soon and then I will have one less thing to feel guilty about. Great post.xx #Sundaystars

    • Jess
      November 30, 2015 / 3:50 pm

      Food – ahhh yes a classic one! Oh I get this a lot too. “Has he eaten enough veg?”, “Has she had her 5 a day?”. Stress! We just care though don’t we?? xx

  6. November 30, 2015 / 2:58 pm

    Beautiful post Jess and no mater how old they are there is always something to feel guilty about, which is crazy when we are doing our absolute best to be great Mums x

    • Jess
      November 30, 2015 / 3:51 pm

      I can imagine that it never wanes! Thanks 🙂 And for the lovely comment xx

  7. December 3, 2015 / 9:04 am

    Lovely post, you are an amazing Mummy and I think it is almost impossible not to feel guilt!

    • Jess
      December 3, 2015 / 9:15 am

      I think so – it is probably just part of the job isn’t it?? xx

  8. December 3, 2015 / 9:17 pm

    It’s so easy to feel the guilt because you care hun. If we didn’t care then we’d be a totally different kind of mummy altogether! Your family are very lucky to have you and your twins are adorable. Knowing the person you are, your children will be just fine and have such amazing, blessed and wonderful lives. Keep doing what you are doing. They are still young and have their whole lives ahead of them! I am like you, a total perfectionist and want things just so, but sometimes we just have to let things be. TV and films and not spending every waking hour playing isn’t going to harm them! xxx

    • Jess
      December 4, 2015 / 9:17 am

      I know. You’re are totally right and chilling out and relaxing makes me a better Mummy 🙂 Trying to remember to leave the cleaning for another day xx

  9. December 5, 2015 / 12:58 am

    I’m 14 years (actually, its closer to 15 eek!) into this parenting malarkey and I still feel guilty that I’m doing everything wrong! But I also know that as long as children feel loved they will grow up just fine. We are all doing a brilliant job and the fact that we are worrying is testament to that. Thanks for linking up with #sundaystars xxx

    • Jess
      December 5, 2015 / 8:44 am

      Thanks lovely and you are right – worrying is testament to it 🙂 Jess xx

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