Posted by: brambledoula | September 10, 2007

Mother Guilt

I was talking with two friends tonight about an interesting phenomena that seems to hit all mothers.  Why is it our husbands can get a night out, or just up and go to the store, or whatever, and not feel an ounce of guilt, but if we want a mom’s night out, or to go run an errand sans kids, we often feel really guilty about it and in some families even have to ask hubby to “babysit” as if he didn’t have a hand in producing these children as well? I have heard the excuse of “oh well he works all day he deserves time to himself”, but 1. WE work too, child rearing is a pretty damn important job, and 2. even when I worked full time I still felt guilty about going to the store by myself or going on a mom’s night out or shit even taking a bubble bath by myself. So why is this? Why is it we can’t seem to find time for ourselves? It is so incredibly important. If we don’t take care of ourselves we can’t easily take care of anyone else, and yet we’re often the last person we think of when it comes to special care. I admit frequently I can’t even spend my own birthday money on something frivolous for myself. If I get a $50 gift card to say, Target or something I usually wind up getting myself a $5 bottle of bubble bath and blowing the rest on the kids. One needs new shoes the other is out of underwear, etc.

So many stay at home moms are so isolated and suffering from post partum depression and I really think a big part of it is as much as we love our children, we don’t do enough for ourselves. We need hobbies. We need to spend time talking to other women, about shit other than our kids.  It’d be nice to run to the store to buy milk without saying “honey will you watch the kids?”.  Instead can’t we just say “hey, I’m going out to buy milk, bye!”?

I say everyone who reads this plan yourself an afternoon out pronto! Take other mothers with you. And don’t feel the slightest ounce guilty about it.  Really.



  1. hey it’s not only stay at home mums. I work five days a week and my wonderful partner looks after my three year old – he also cooks and goes shopping, does most of the housework and pays the bills. You would think I was the happiest person on earth – I feel like I should be. The problem is I feel like I should spend all my time away from work with my child. I never get to see my friends (most of them don’t have children so I feel like I am imposing if I bring my son along – my thoughts not theirs.). My partner is not a social person so doesn’t have the need to see people all the time. I feel like all I do is go to work and come home and no time for me at all!

  2. I felt the same way when I worked full time, I felt guilty even putting them in the gym daycare for half an hour so I could exercise because I spent so much time away. Thing is, this phenomena still doesn’t seem to affect husbands as much as it does moms. I don’t get it.

  3. […] Mother Guilt: This post explores the sense of isolation and guilt that many stay-at-home moms feel after giving birth. […]

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