From the Mommy Files…

Why Do Moms Feel Guilty? Part I

Posted on: May 25, 2011

As I read this article today in the Chicago Tribune, “Mom can’t scrub away guilt left by housekeeper,” I really got to thinking.

With all the demands on the 21st century mom, it’s virtually impossible to do everything.

It’s like we have this Supermom complex.

We drive ourselves batty, trying to be June Cleaver.

T’aint gonna happen, ladies.

Unless you have absolutely nothing else going on in your life, maybe.

Why do we feel guilty about seeking any assistance?

It’s hard for me to ask for help.

I was raised not to.

You deal with what you have and don’t complain.

Do what you can, always do your best.

Yes, it was a “children should be seen and not heard” house.

I keep forgetting I am not a child anymore, and I am to be seen and heard.

And when something isn’t right, or I need something, I need to speak up.

Nevertheless, I feel guilty asking for help.

When I was going through chemo, it was really difficult – still – for me to ask people to watch the kids while I went to treatments.

I don’t know why.

Cause I felt like I needed to handle everything.

It was my responsibility.

And maybe it’s the Supermom thing too.

Yes, I do have house cleaners come twice a month too.

To some, it sounds silly and like I’m lazy since I am at home.

As others, I am compelled to explain why I utilize this service.

That I am not some prissy diva who refuses to get her hands dirty.

Here it goes.

Yes, I am home.

With a 4 year-old and a 2 year-old.

And no family support.

So it’s not like I can say, “Hey mom, can you watch the kids for an hour so I can run an errand?”

Most that have that luxury don’t appreciate it.

I also work from home.

I work a regular part-time (some weeks full-time) job as associate editor/lead writer at The Greek Star.

Which requires some serious creativity in work scheduling.

I’m also writing a book, and doing some other projects.

Then there’s the PTA.

I’m on the board and very involved in my older daughter’s school.

There are kid activities outside of school to coordinate and attend.

There’s spending time teaching my children things, playing with them and tending to their needs.

There’s laundry, cooking, every day cleaning and more.

Let’s not forget, I’m helping to care for my 80 year-old mother, who is not in the best of health.

Each day, I field calls from doctors and other service providers who are assisting us with Mom, so we don’t have to put her in a nursing home.

We live 30 miles away, which with Chicago traffic can be a one hour drive or two.

Sometimes I have to dash out there at a moment’s notice.

I am out at least once a week, coordinating her meds, collecting the mail and taking care of miscellaneous things.

I manage their affairs.

Last, but certainly not least, I am a wife.

Husbands require support, companionship, friendship…

So there are infinite demands on my time.

If I recall correctly, Marion Cunningham didn’t have these types of demands.

Even Claire Huxtable, a successful attorney and mom to a full brood, didn’t have these demands on her time.

Let’s remember that these were fictional moms, and so their lives were not rooted in reality.

My story is not unique.

Yet, I still feel like I have to explain what I do.

And like the moms in Alexa Aguilar’s article, I do cut corners elsewhere to allow for this, which some refer to as “luxury,” but many of us call, “piece of mind.”

Before I had kids, I got a manicure once a month.

I got my eyebrows waxed every 3 weeks.

I got my hair cut and colored every 6 weeks.

I worked out 4 days a week.

I shopped a lot and had great shoes and clothes.

I traveled.

Well, not so much these days.

That brings me to another topic.

Why do we always put ourselves last and don’t do things for ourselves?

But that’s a topic for another day.

Now, while I have 10 more minutes to myself today, I better to get to work.

Some say, “I wish there were more hours in the day.”

If there were, we’d be more tired.

And certainly more busy.

So, ladies.


Who cares what anyone says or thinks?

Do what you have to do to make things work, for harmony in your house.

Why be miserable?

There’s always going to be someone who HAS to say something.

They can’t resist.

My money says that either their kids are older, or in day care (which is help by the way!) or maybe they don’t have any.

I could go on and on.

Forget ‘em.

You and your family are first and foremost.

So if some sort of hired help keeps your family running smoothly

By all means do it!

And don’t feel guilty.

You’re just one person.

And frankly, you have more important things to do than worry about what others think.

And clean the house.

Keep in mind that you’re doing your part to help the economy – providing jobs for others.

Oh! I better go throw in a load of laundry.

It’s always a juggle.

Do what works for you.

And feel good about it.

8 Responses to "Why Do Moms Feel Guilty? Part I"

I got to that point when my daughter was small as well. I was not about to become a slave to my house, so we hired a housekeeper. And I had my daughter in part time daycare just so I could have some time for me as well as run errands unfettered. Taking care of an ailing parent can cause even more stress than kids. My hat is off to you, especially considering what you’ve been through. The only housekeeper situation that deserves extreme guilt is Arnold Schwarzenegger’s…..

Thanks for your comments, Dena. Bottom line, we all have a lot going on and we shouldn’t be afraid or feel guilty to ask for assistance sometimes. And we should never feel guilty getting a sitter or asking someone to watch the kids a bit for a needed break. I’m always feel guilty, but I have to push myself too.

Great post, Maria! I hope lots of moms read it!

Thanks Patricia! We all need to stop feeling guilty. Have a great day.

I can barely take care of myself 😉

Thanks for stopping by. People always talk about the guilt their moms give them. You don’t always here about how moms feel guilty. Take care!

Thanks-a-mundo for that article.Thanks Again. Will continue reading…

Thanks for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed that piece. Take care!

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