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Mommy Guilt

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

What is it with Mommy Guilt? I too am a participant in this phenomenon, but I continue to try and figure out where this guilt stems from? I am sure there is Daddy Guilt too, but I certainly don’t hear about it in my office like I do the Mommy chatter. In the office today one mother was worried that her daughter’s runny nose and slight cough were due to the fact that she was only breastfeeding twice a day as her daughter was now nine months old. Another mother was convinced that her child was awakening at 4 am each day because she hadn’t fed her child enough dinner despite the fact her daughter was now three years old. The mothers of teens were also a participant in our club as one was worried that her daughter’s acne was do to that fact that she bought a generic face wash.

I am convinced that Mommy guilt is imbued with that last push during labor when your finally see your most perfect and precious gift, your your-baby. And at that moment we want to assume guilt for everything. Now that is not all bad, as mothers are the glue in the family, and we try to fix everything. But it is not all fixable, and babies will get fussy despite the fact we adhere to a perfect diet while breastfeeding (I do not agree with the bland diet only for breast feeding mothers), our children will fall down and skin a knee, and our sons and daughters might flunk a test or procrastinate on a project, but it is not about us, it is about them!

So like Miranda on Grey’s Anatomy said just tonight, “get in touch with your feminine side” but don’t get wrapped up in Mommy guilt. Do as well as your can in your career, your marriage, and your parenting, and when things don’t go just the way that you want/expect, don’t blame yourself. Because it really isn’t all about us, it is about the child too, and we can’t fix everything, nor should we want to.

That’s your daily dose, we’ll chat again soon!

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