Mommy Guilt {the day my boy got locked out of the house}

Mommy and The Boy Sleeping

As a mom who works outside the home for 40+ hours per week, I go through a lot of mommy guilt moments. I worry about my boy feeling like he isn’t important enough or that we don’t spend enough time with him. I worry that I will be tired too much in the evenings and won’t focus enough on him. I worry that he will feel more bonded with his teachers at daycare than he will with me.

As a mom who blogs at night and has a strong addiction to social media, I also experience guilt moments there. Sometimes I have work to complete in the evenings and that can interfere with our time together. Sure, he loves the perks of packages at the door, fun days at live events, movie pre-screenings, and the “fun mommy” who likes to craft with him or the “fun daddy” who likes to cook with him, but are we ultimately doing these things because we want to or because we are creating moments for the blog. I think it is a mixture of both and it’s turned us into a fun family, but I still have the guilt.

Last night I was not feeling well (as usual) and while my infections are beginning to heal a little, the antibiotics are kicking my butt. The boy and I were watching cartoons and I was staring at the computer (again, as usual) when he decided to go see what Daddy was doing. I knew Hubby was outside smoking and figured the boy would either find him or come back and ask me where he went. After a few minutes, Hubby came back without the boy. The dogs were running after him and playing and that usually means they have been outside.

I asked Hubby where our boy was and he looked around as if he hadn’t seen him. I think I knew instantly where he was, but I started calling his name and looking around. Hubby knocked on his bedroom door to open it, but we saw the light off so we knew he wasn’t there. As we were both headed out of our bedroom, I asked if Hubby had just let the dogs in and did he see our boy out there. He said the dogs came in, but he didn’t see the boy. Yep, I knew where he was.

Hubby headed straight for the back door and opened it and there was our boy wandering his way up to the door. Locked outside alone. Luckily, he didn’t realize it before we found him and he was in a gated back yard. He might have been out there for one minute…maybe…

We told him to come in and start getting ready for his bath, both of us sighing in relief while the boy wondered why we were acting so strange about bath time. As I was getting his bath ready, I asked the boy why he didn’t tell me that he was going outside with the dogs, and then he said it…

“Because You Were Busy Working”

He might as well have said, “I hate you” or “you are the worst mommy” or “I’m running away” (which he actually says sometimes and it doesn’t phase me because he doesn’t know what it means yet). I was convicted. I was embarrassed. I need to change things. I am guilty.

Do you get mommy guilt or blogger guilt or both?


  1. Not so much these days since all my chicks are grown but it’s hard some times. I think that if those feelings nudge you to be more sensitive to his needs … then it’s a good thing. But if they make you wallow in despair … not so good! You are doing the best you can, Janet! None of us do this motherhood thing perfectly!

    • janet says:

      I’m shooting for the least amount of therapy needed in his adult years!

  2. It happens to ALL of us Janet and it consumes us. In my younger years, with the big girls, I once left them both at school because I forgot to pick them up. No that meeting was NOT that important. They were shuffled in to the after school program, did their homework, and had fun with the other kids. But I’ll tell you, I still feel guilty to this day.

    I tell Bug and Bubby all of the time “in a minute”. I can’t tell you how many minutes they’ve waited to go to the park. We’ve been a bunch so I shouldn’t feel guilty that they have to wait sometimes too but I get it.

    You’re a good mom. We all have bad days. Your boy loves you and you love him. In the end, that’s all that matters.

    • janet says:

      I used to have this overwhelming fear that I would forget Benjamin at daycare. I worked a high stress job that was 45 minutes from home and if I didn’t leave at exactly 5, then I would be late picking him up. My job was far from an 8-5 job so I would walk out the door at 5 and tell people to call me while I was driving. They mostly understood, but I was always afraid that I would lose track of time and leave after 5. Thank you for the encouraging words and my boy gets it most of the time. I think our children forget this stuff, but it sticks with me for way too long. I’m blessed to have an online support group to remind me that I’m okay.

  3. I already told you about the mom guilt I feel. I don’t work outside the home but trying to parent two kids 4 and 1, plus blogging, plus life it’s just so hard sometimes to find a balance. Obviously my kids are most important, but it’s hard to find the balance when I know blogging helps us do fun things together.

    I’m so glad you posted this because I read some blogs and either they have it all figured out and have perfected how to do it all (or are just more efficient at blogging and focused) or they gloss it over and just as stressed and imperfect as the rest of us. I get so tempted reading some blogs and wondering how they do it all. How can they be this perfect mom figure, blogger, photographer, cook, crafter, wife, etc? They can’t. You can’t be great at everything.

    Technology is a blessing and a curse. It keeps you connected and enables us to have this amazing job where we can work from home and be our own boss. But at the same time, there’s always something we could be doing to better our blog, grow our audience, become more appealing to advertisers, and on and on.

    I hope you don’t mind if I write my own mommy guilt post about this too. It might be therapeutic cause #thisisme.

    • janet says:

      I wonder about those put-together moms, too. I wonder if the “perfect” mom image is like seeing the “perfect” woman figure in advertising where it sends a bad message to those of us looking for a way to be the best we can, but “failing” in comparison.

  4. “Are we ultimately doing these things because we want to or because we are creating moments for the blog.” I think about that too! I agree; it’s both sometimes!

    Your comments were so encouraging to me today! Hey, I lived in Elkhart, Texas for two years! 🙂

    • janet says:

      Esther, this world is so small and I love that we can all connect through our blogs! Your post is heart-breaking and encouraging at the same time and I love your writing. I think we’re all just trying to figure out how to live this life to the best of our ability and as long as we are following God’s will for us, that is what matters!

  5. Shell says:

    This could easily happen to any of us.

    I do have mommy guilt over working instead of spending time with my kids but then I realize that I’m helping the family and I get over it. 😉

    • janet says:

      Most of the time I can pull myself out of this by thinking that way. Thanks for the reminder, Shell!

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