Friday, 18 April 2014

Her words, my heart & a dose of mother guilt

Sometimes in the midst of caring for my girls and working from home I beat myself up about not doing a good enough job at either role. 

Thing is somewhere deep down I do know I'm doing a good job at both roles. And for the most part I have this balance thing going pretty well... even if it means intentionally carving out time to make our memories and just be.

But, and this often strikes during school holidays (read now!), there's an emotional part of me that cringes when I step into another room to make a work call or tell miss four that she really does need to amuse herself for 10 minutes so mummy can put the finishing touches on an article, or when I hear myself saying "just one more minute" and then realising it's not the first time I've asked for that one minute more...

A few week's ago I asked miss four if I she would like to help me bake our bread - something she loves to do and we often do together. Her response: "Not right now Mummy. I'm doing my work, you'll need to wait ... just one minute." Cringe. Sigh. Guilt. I waited, and watched as she purposefully wrote numbers on her paper. She gave me all her attention and love when she was ready, one minute later. 

The day after I chatted with another mother about my feelings of guilt. I knew she was in a similar situation to me and was comforted when she admitted it crept up on her often too... She suggested that perhaps it was just part and parcel of being a working-from-home mum. And just as we were about to leave the conversation at that, another mum joined in, "Actually that guilt happened to me too. I still cringe, thinking I could have done more, shown them more, taught them more, been present more... and I chose to stay home with them until they went to school. I think it's just part and parcel with being a mum."

But is it? This guilt that nobody ever tells you about pre-kids, that stings horribly and is hard to erase. Does it have to be part of motherhood?

Yesterday I overheard miss four talking to miss two: "What do you want to be when you grow up? I want to be a mum that's just like my mum." And my first thought was: I must be doing something right. Maybe more than something. And truth is those words went and made my day.

I keep hoping my girls will remember when they're older that I was doing my best. And I hope that's enough. Because I suppose in the end that's all I can do. To trust myself, do my best, love fully and keep on collecting {and savouring} heart moments as I go.


Does mother guilt come your way too? x
{Image above taken by the super-talented Laura at Perla Photography x}



  1. Elisa I have been at home full time with my boys and now homeschool them. I still feel mother guilt at different times. Have I given them enough of my time? Even though I'm home full time, I need to have time to do housework, cook meals, do the shopping, have time to do what I want to do etc etc. I think it is just part of motherhood and everything else. We all doubt ourselves sometimes and wonder if we are enough. I am sure you are doing a wonderful job. Much love xxoo

  2. Lovely image. Guilt, hmmm...I think we all feel it at some point or another. It is just there. I try really hard to let it go, but it is not always easy. Sometimes I stop and think of the big picture and when I do, I can feel the guilt easing, just a little bit. Hugs. xo

  3. I have to agree, it seems guilt comes as part of motherhood, and every mother I've ever spoken to about it say they experience the guilt at various times and for various reasons. For me it's at it's worst when I drop my boys off to daycare to go to work, and when I feel like I need to be on my own and have my own space. Sometimes I wonder if I'm doing a good enough job, are my decisions impacting them positively, am I doing it right? It's a tough gig this mothering business! It sounds like your girls are happy and love having you as their mum, just as you are. xx

  4. Oh my goodness Elisa, all the time. I work four days a week and try to be the best mum, wife, friend, person I can be! It is tough. I seem to always feel guilty about something.

  5. Technically, I don't work from home, but the "just one more minute" moments are there. As are the guilty feelings. And the not quite present ones. And the am I doing a good job ones.

    These babes of ours replicate what they see and here. I often wonder how conscious it is. Miss Four wants to be just like you for all the right reasons, but she asks you for "just one more minute" without judgement. She doesn't know that she should attach any emotion to it. At least that's what I think... You're doing a great job, Mumma. X

  6. I think it's always good to be thinking about how we can do it better, & guilt seems to always creep in- I don't think there's a perfect balance- depends on individuals I think. Children need our attention but also need to occupy themselves at times & begin to understand that there are other things mums have to do some times.

  7. Guilt is a funny beast. Sometimes I wonder if it's actually a sign that we care and therefore are probably doing a reasonable job. It's hard working at home, but I like to think I'm allowing some independent space for my boys too and perhaps acting as a role model for doing work that one loves. Your words and pics are beautiful x


Thank you for your words and support. I'm so glad you stopped by xx