Hot Topic Thursday:The Secret Side of Mommy Guilt

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There were some challenges that I expected when becoming a mother. I mean, sleep deprivation is a given. I already knew that I’d be a zombie for the better part of the first few months. I wasn’t prepared for it, but I expected it. I’m not sure how I could have prepared for the lack of sleep. It’s not like you can just stock up on sleep to make sure have enough before the baby comes. It just doesn’t seem to work that way. Oh, how I wish it did.

I wasn’t prepared for the change that I would feel in some of my friendships. I was the first of many of my local friends to get married. For me it felt like getting married pulled me away from them a bit. I was the married lady now. I was rushing home to be with my man and doing the wife thing. Many of my friends were dating or not. All wanted to be married someday but, weren’t quite there yet. So the things we wanted to do changed. The time we could spend together changed. We made the effort to still hang out but there were times I’d opt out to spend time at home. This was manageable.

I felt like we had found a good balance. That balance was thrown off when I had a baby. I was now the married, mommy friend while some of my friends were single and without children. The hard part for me was that I knew that my friends wanted to be married and wanted kids. For whatever reason, it just hadn’t happened yet. My response was to not tell them right away when I was pregnant. I kind of kept it a secret until the 4 month mark when it was getting to be obvious. For other friends, I waited even longer still. I felt horrible about not sharing my joy right away but I also felt bad because I knew I was at a point in my life where I was living the life some of my friends wanted.

Not everyone wants to be married and not everyone wants children but for those of my buddies that did and do, I’ve always felt this sort of guilt. I know that all things happen in time and totally believe that they will have these same experiences. The guilt I sometimes feel caught me off guard. It’s a whole other kind of mommy guilt. It’s one no one told me about. One I wasn’t prepared for in the least. Did you experience this other side of wife/mommy guilt?

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16 Responses to Hot Topic Thursday:The Secret Side of Mommy Guilt
  1. Rose's Daughter
    March 15, 2012 | 7:23 am

    I have a friend who can’t have children. She needs IVF, but can’t afford it. May never be able to afford it. I felt guilty while pregnant. I still occasionally feel guilty complaining about motherhood to her( so I rarely do). Sigh. It’s hard.

  2. Monica J @Sofamilyonline
    March 15, 2012 | 7:38 am

    The topic of friendship and growth is one that Ive been dealing with for the last few years. The guilt you feel is a natural feeling because you want everyone to experience the happiness you have and get what they want. I think once my friends and I hit our 30’s things just started changing. It’s so hard to maintain the friendships as they used to be because we’re all moving in different directions. Some of us are married, mommies and then others are single and not dating at all. When we go out the mommies talk about their kids, the married ones talk about their husbands, the dating ones talk about relationships and the singles talk about the dating scene. I think just recently we’ve all learned to accept each other where we are in life. However, it still doesn’t change some of us longing for what others have or feeling guilt for what we do have. I’m one who’s not married, no kids, but I love my relationship, where my life is headed and I long to be a mommy. But I tell myself time will take me to where I need to be. I’m happy to enjoy all of the different stories my friends bring to the table when we go out. I think my single friend has the best stories and keeps us all laughing. I definitely wouldn’t want to be on the dating scene again. Lol. 🙂

  3. Wanda
    March 15, 2012 | 7:39 am

    I did experience wife/mommy guilt also. It is normal you try to protect your friends from feeling bad, but on the flip side of things you want to share everything about your life with your friends. When I was married at 19 and my friends weren’t that was tuff. Because like you I opt to stay home or spend time with my husband at that time. Then when I became a single parent out of three of my friends only one had a child and was a single parent. My other two friends couldn’t have children. So I didn’t talk to them much about parenting and being a mommy because I felt guilt that they couldn’t have children. Both of them now are WONDERFUL God mothers.

  4. Amber
    March 15, 2012 | 9:12 am

    I was just thinking to myself last night about the fact that I had five bridesmaids at my wedding six years ago and not one of them is married. I know what you mean about feeling guilty about your place in life. I had to learn (recently) that I couldn’t make apologies for where I am; happily married with a child. But as one someone else posted, you want them to experience the same happiness you do. You don’t want to flaunt in their faces that you have what they (not all, but some) want. The way I handle it is to pray that the Lord will in time, give them the desires of their hearts! I’ve also worked on developing friendships with other women who are in a similar life place as I am, so that there’s balance in my relationships.

  5. Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell
    March 15, 2012 | 9:38 am

    I think I was spared that because after we got married, we moved a lot and so I always had new friends with whom I never felt close enough to feel guilty.

  6. Natalie
    March 15, 2012 | 10:53 am

    I sometimes do…and I always hope that they find someone or are able to have a baby. It’s not fair to watch some people suffer, and it is hard to be happy about your situation when someone else is so sad. 🙁

  7. Krissy
    March 15, 2012 | 11:48 am

    I don’t feel any guilt about anything. I always feel like if my friends want to have the things i do in my life ( a loving supportive partner and a child) then they can all have those things.

    Relationships change all the time and if they are worth it, we make sure we don’t just let them fizzle because of those changes.

    One of my bestest friends has my oldest Godson when we were in the 10th grade. It changed us but we held on to our friendship. She got married a few years ago and that changed us even more, but we’ve held on. I think she’s worth it and our 14+ years of friendship is worth it too.

  8. rebecca
    March 15, 2012 | 1:26 pm

    I was the last one to have kids so I didn’t feel left out but included into the mommy group.

  9. Mrs. Pancakes
    March 15, 2012 | 2:24 pm

    Im so glad I found your blog! You always share something I need to learn!!

  10. Martine | Work at Home Mom Writer
    March 15, 2012 | 6:16 pm

    Hi, Cam! I found your blog through Kelli’s Sweetness of Life blog. Thanks for commenting on my guest post there!

    About guilt: I never felt guilty for being a mom, the first one at that among my friends. Like you, I was also the first to get married among my friends. (My hubs and I believe that we kind of set the “trend” for getting married, because within a year after we’d wedded, our friends began getting engaged, getting married and having kids!)

    I do, however, relate with the changes in relationships and friendships. Many of my girl friends are still single, so we don’t get to hang out as much (It was the dude buddies — my husbands’ and my common friends — who got married). When I do get to hang out with my friends, it’s not the same because they’re still single, and I feel like I’m “behind” in all the partying and craziness!

    So, it’s not really guilt I felt, but more of a feeling of being different, and maybe a bit “matronly” now! Haha! But I REFUSE to look frumpy, so while my friends are swingingly single, the thing we DO still vibe together about is shopping! So I guess it all works out 🙂

  11. Laughwithusblog
    March 15, 2012 | 6:44 pm

    I was on the other end. I met my husband when I was 25 and we didn’t have children until I was almost 30. Change is inevitable, but not always easy! Great post!

  12. Cheziannhe
    March 16, 2012 | 1:12 am

    Well actually, being a mom and being a friend is really different…But we all know that the only constant in this world is change…

  13. nicole@muranoplace
    March 16, 2012 | 1:18 am

    more than you expected when you became a mother.
    but do not forget to fix your self .
    thanks for shearing this..

  14. Baby Shopaholic
    March 16, 2012 | 8:35 am

    Most of my friends had babies at the same time so I don’t really have this problem. I prob scare the few that do from having any or getting married by telling crazy stories! LOL

  15. YUMMommy
    March 17, 2012 | 9:59 am

    Honestly, I never had this kind of mommy/wife guilt with any or my friends because we were all pregrant at the same time. However, my younger sister and her husband my niece a month ago and felt guilty because I have two kids and she’s had two unsuccessful pregnancies already. However, I know that God will bless them in His in own time.

  16. Mark
    August 9, 2012 | 3:05 am

    Yes it’s true that there are these “guilty feelings” sometimes. But hey, cheer up Cams, I know your friends are also happy for you. They’re also proud and joyful about the things that you’re going through now. They will soon have their own families and will also go through the experiences.

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