Attack of Mommy Guilt - MetroFamily Magazine
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Attack of Mommy Guilt

by Kristina Pressley

Reading Time: 3 minutes 

Why? Why do we, as mothers, carry around so much guilt?? I ask this because right now I have this big ball of guilt built up in my chest that I can’t seem to rid myself of. This ball is made up of my guilt regarding the time I’m spending away from the girls. If I average it out, I spend about eight or nine hours a week on my fitness. For some of this time, when I do my long runs on the weekends, the girls stay with Daddy. The other days of the week, they go to the Childwatch at the Earlywine Park YMCA. We know the ladies there and they know us. The girls love the ladies there and I have complete confidence in the care that they get there. So, why do I feel so guilty about leaving them?

Aside from my workouts, I am busy with other things, too. I am taking two classes in preparation for submitting my application to a nursing school program. This is taking up some time, too. But, the girls are always with Daddy when I’m at class. Nevertheless, GUILT!

The truth is, they spend so much less time in the care of others than they did when Brynn was a baby. Back then I was still in the Air Force and spent close to ten hours a day away from her. Don’t get me wrong… I felt guilty then, too. But, I would think that it would be less now that I’m with the girls so much more. You’d think that the Mommy Guilt-o-Meter would be leaning to my favor a little bit. But, no. It’s not.

I also just weaned Baby Lydia from breastfeeding. We had our last feeding together about a week and a half ago. She’s eating a lot of baby food now, and she likes the formula just fine. Once again, GUILT! I’m actually avoiding eye contact with other mothers when I pull out a bottle when we’re in public. I don’t need the disapproving glares adding to this ball in my chest. GUILT!!

I suppose that some amount of guilt is a good thing. I imagine it works as a sort of checks-and-balances system within us. Being in control of it is the key, I think. That’s what I’m trying to do… balance the guilt against certain things that I know for sure. Like, I know that I will be a better momma if I am healthy and balanced and feeling good. Running and working out bring these things to me. Also, knowing that I’m doing everything I can to be a good example of fitness and healthy eating for my girls is important to me. I also know that Lydia is a healthy, strong baby and gained an immeasurable amount of benefit from breast feeding for seven and a half months. She’ll be just fine drinking formula for four months. (She will, right?)

Aside from all of this, my half-marathon training is going very well. My long run on Saturday was six miles. My running partner, Mindy, took me George M. Sutton Wilderness Park in Noman where we did a trail run. It was wooded and there was a lake and a dirt path. It really was wonderful. I am starting to think that I really will be able to do this half marathon in May and then the full in August.

Oh, and I stepped on the scale today…. Five pounds down. I generally want punch the scale in the throat. But, today it gave me a little validation that I’m heading toward FAB. Thank you, scale. For today, we are friends.

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