Sometimes I Feel Guilty for Not Feeling Guilty

toddlers, mommy guilt

Photo by Donna_Mommy

Unfortunately, most the moms I know tend to take on a lot of, mostly unfounded and unnecessary, "mother guilt."

So I was so happy, when asked the other day about putting my kids in more child care, that I realized I didn't feel guilty.

Until I realized I felt guilty for not feeling guilty...

The other night we were going for our nightly walk, and we got lured into our favorite neighbor's kitchen, once again, for homemade cookies (kinda ruins the whole walk thing but whatever; we love her, and we can't resist her husband's cookies).

While chatting, I told her that this week, since my paid work has become full-time work, my older son Clyde would start a five days a week summer program through the YMCA and that I'd be moving our toddler Leo from three days to five days at his current preschool.

She looked at me and said, "Do you think Leo will do okay? Being away from you that much?"

Inside, I laughed. I laughed because, seriously, Leo will be fine. He already spends one of the off-school days with my mom and dad. The one other day he is home with me. So the new schedule is really only a one-day difference from what we've been doing since last October. And on that one day with mom, he always asks (and often cries) about when he's going to school. He really loves preschool. I truly believe his teachers are much better caretakers and structured fun makers than I am, especially while I'm working.

But after I laughed inside, I sank because I felt like I should feel guilty. And I didn't.

I know we are doing the best thing for our family. My kids are thriving, not suffering. They're safe and their minds and their energy-filled bodies are engaged. And best of all, I'm doing a job that I love, which also helps pay the mortgage.

Don't get me wrong. I'm glad I don't feel guilty about for signing up for the child care we need. I'm grateful we have to means to pay for it—and frankly, I have plenty of other silly, down-deep mother-guilt with which to wrestle.

However, I actually do feel guilty. For not feeling guilty.

Am I the only one? Do you ever feel guilty for not feeling guilty?

child care


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mandy... mandy0510

i know exactly what you mean, when i decided i was going to go back to work,,,,god forbid...i was so excited....i was going to get to talk to adults again, and have normal conversations that didnot involve spongebob or mac-n-cheese,,,,but when my mom asked how my almost 3 yr old was going to take it,, being away from me for the 1st time,,,i did start feeling guilty for being excited about leaving him. i still haven't started back to work full time yet, but so far Caden seems to be doing fine with a couple of days without mommy.

eeyor... eeyoreplus4

Don't feel guilty for not feeling guilty! You are doing what is best for YOUR family. No one can tell someone else what is best because for each family is different. I've been told that I should feel guilty for not working & making DH support our whole family (6 of us), but I don't (too much) because I want to be at home with my kids & it works for MY family.

You sound like you know what's best for you & yours, don't worry about anyone else.

myas71 myas71

don't get me wrong i love my kids but i wulddn't know what to do without daycare. sometimes when i let them stay home i'm like omg what was i thinking! and i say YOUR GOING TOMORROW! i think of it like this my house will be clean for the day. until they get home. lol

Donna... Donna_Mommy

I'm feeling many of the same feelings! My girls ages are 6,4,4,3. The two 4 year olds have been in a 2 day a week preschool that is absolutely fantastic. And my 3 year old will start going in August. HOWEVER, I've learned that all three of the little ones qualify for the 5 day a week program at our public school. I'm SERIOUSLY feeling guilty for even considering sending them. However, in my own mind, I know that if I choose this route it WILL be because it's the best choice for them.

I think your not feeling guilty is only because as their mother, you know you're providing what's best for them. I'm sure if you felt Leo couldn't handle the extra hours in preschool, you'd choose something else for him.

mmmom... mmmommy0207

My 18mo spends his days with Grandpa and Grandma. He is the light of their lives! They bake from scratch (I bake from a box!), garden (I'm the grim reaper of houseplants) and watch traffic for hours on end (He's obsessed with trucks). Deep down I know he has more fun with them during  the day than he would with me. I used to bring him to work every day...till he learned how to walk!

chick... chickenmonkey

I try to put my daughter in as much stuff as she wants- we are bored silly at home together - I love my work and she loves playing with her friends (she's two - but a major socialite already -in large part to daycare - I KNOW!!!)  It is what works for every family and I feel lucky to have the arrangement we have!  Guilty at times but only when other people try ot push their values on me.

Good for you!


I don't feel guilty. I work in childcare and my son goes to the same place. I know what you are thinking but I work in a different room so I don't neccesarily see him. I give every child there the same amount of love as I would my own. When you see those kids mon-fri you care about them. The difference is in if you leave them there all day or pick them up after work. I have two parents who are school teachers and we had a snow day yesterday. The school let out early and when they picked up their kids(at seperate times) I said "yeah, you get to spend  the day with mom." Mom one said (quote) " I have tried to go home and do stuff without them before but i usually get home and feel guilty and turn around and come back and get them." Mom two said "Yeah" (sarcastically) and rolled her eyes. Or I have kids who are there from 5:30am to 6:00pm. Which is open to close at the center. That is the major difference to me. There is nothing wrong with childcare. Like i said, we give those kids lots of love, balanced nutrition(we follow the food program standards), and great learning opportunities. Daycare and interaction with other kids can be wonderful for a child.                                              

baby1... baby1love

That's sad that you feel that teachers are better caretakers than you ...............

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