Mommy Guilt: One momma’s rant

Mommy Guilt.
Let’s talk about that for a minute, okay.

Like how I seriously despise going to the park.
But for some reason, admitting this fact gives me guilt.
As if admittance to my lack of excitement to have sand in my shoes,
get stuck in the tube slide, and experience sweat dripping down my back
somehow makes me a bad mom.

And then there’s the other kind of guilt.
The guilt I feel when I’m having a bad day.
Like yesterday.

Yesterday Baby W misbehaved in more ways than I can count.
Terrible twos doesn’t even begin to cover his behavior all day.
Food was thrown and mutilated,
furniture became a jungle gym,
diapers were ripped off,
poo was touched,
toys were thrown from moving vehicles,
and piercing shrieks were heard by the entire neighborhood.

But I stayed positive,
because that’s my new goal as a Momma.
To brush off the things that don’t matter.
To remind myself that this too shall pass.
To focus on his milestones, rather than his meltdowns.

I even devoted more of my energy to catering to his whims.
My “list” was ignored
as I spent the day building with blocks,
playing in the hose outside,
and singing Elmo’s world
over and over
and over.

Maybe he just needs some extra quality Momma time today,
I told myself.

So I smiled and made the best of his horrid behavior.

But then,
that night he did something so terrible
so horrible, so unforgivable {if he weren’t my pride and joy},
that I couldn’t keep the smile on my face any longer.

He took my brand new
iPhone 4
and he threw it in the toilet.

And you know what…
He knew exactly what he was doing.
I could see it on his face.
The look that said,
Well, what are you gonna do now?
Did I break you yet, Momma?

And he had.
I snapped.

WESLEY, WHAT did you do?!!!!
I snatched him up and put him in his “time out” area,
(an area he has yet to understand)
and proceeded to tell him just how bad his behavior was.

Of course I used toddler language.
Things like bad boy.
Mommy is very upset.
You are in big trouble.
That is not okay.
You are in time out now.

I even gave his hands one of those little slaps that
says I will never hurt you, but you need to know that I am serious.
He didn’t shed a tear,
and refused to make eye contact–proof he inherited the stubborn gene.

I told his Dad to come talk to him,
then I walked into the other room
took a deep breath
and I cried.
For over an hour.
Crying turned into sobbing,
which turned into swollen eyes, slimy nose
and my ugly dog face.
It was a bit ridiculous.
But we all need a good cry every now and then.

You see, it wasn’t about the iPhone,
although that made me sick to my stomach.
It was about what Baby W’s actions represented.
What his pure defiance said about my skills as a Momma.
And some of you may try to tell me
that a 2 year old can’t possibly understand what he did.
But I know my kid,
and TRUST me,
he knew.
And that broke my heart.

Just when I had run out of tears,
I could hear my little man in the other room with his Dad.
Momma, Momma–peas peas {please please}.

He wanted to say he was sorry.

So I let him,
in the most adorable way he knows how.
Kiss Kiss, he said.
And he wrapped his little arms around me,
gave me a kiss on the lips
and went to sleep.

Me: Why do I feel like I’m doing a terrible job?
Hub: You’re doing an amazing job, he’s just difficult.
Me: That doesn’t help. Why won’t he listen to a word I say?
Hub: I don’t really know. He’s never been easy.
Me: But why does it have to be so hard.

And then I stopped myself right there,
and allowed the other kind of guilt to set in.

The kind of guilt that doesn’t let a Momma ever feel sorry for herself.
The kind of guilt that tells you to suck it up.
The kind of guilt that tells you, you have no right to complain.

When I feel this guilt,
I always run through the same conversation with myself
{in my head of course}:
What right do I have to complain–I only have ONE kid!
What about Momma’s with multiples…
Or single Momma’s…
Or Momma’s with husbands that are away all the time…
Or worse…What about Momma’s that have children who have a medical condition.
Or with disabilities…
What right do I have to complain.
They have it harder than I can even fathom.

And then I kick my own butt,
tell myself to snap out of it,
and I suppress the stress and anxiety I am feeling,
because I have no right to feel this way, right?!

Last night, for the first time
I attempted to explain this feeling of guilt to my husband.

Me: I should be grateful. I should be counting my blessings, instead of complaining.
Hub: You do count your blessings. You are grateful, you say so every day.
Me: But I should have some perspective. In the scheme of things, it doesn’t really matter that my brand new, very expensive phone no longer works. What if he were sick, and in the hospital–now that’s something worth dwelling on. My concerns are so trivial…I shouldn’t ever feel frustrated, I have it easy.

And then the husband said something so simple, yet it was just what I needed to hear.
He even used his slow soft spoken voice,
the one that tells me he really means what he’s about to say.

Hub: Even Momma’s of kiddos who have a medical condition would get upset if their kid threw their new cell phone in the toilet.
Me: You think so? Said in my rarely used, soft spoken voice.
Hub: Yeah, I think so.

And at that moment, I felt a little less guilty.
I wrapped my arms around the hubs,
gave him a kiss, kiss
and went to sleep.

Ashley Stock
I'm Ashley. Sometimes I craft, occasionally I cook, everyday I write, and I'm always Momma. This is my blog. I keep it real while still seeing the rainbows and butterflies in all of life's lessons.
Ashley Stock
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Comments

  1. First off sister, were you able to save the phone?

    Mommy guilt is the worst. I just went on a little vacation without my babe for the first time and even though I'm back and pretty sure he was more excited to see the cat than me, I'm feeling non stop guilt.

    Everyone would be bummed to have their new phone in the toilet.

  2. This is the first time I have ever been to your blog (found you this week during all the giveaways) and I am nearly in tears reading your post. I can SO relate. I have 3 boys, but even when I only had 1 I SO had days where I melted down and struggled (and still do of course).

    And I can tell you, the Mommy Guilt is overwhelming! I think it gets worse as they get older (oh… my kids aren't in soccer/gymnastics/wrestling/etc etc etc).

    And I LOVE that you don't like to go to the park. I don't like it too much either.

    And my kids have thrown my phone into the dog's water dish. I feel you! Thanks for the great post!

  3. Sarah @ The Bird's Papaya says:

    oh my heart aches for this. I have two "golden" children. They listen almost always, they cry when they're in trouble, they are affectionate and apologetic. Then there's Jemma. Jemma likes to get a rise out of you, good or bad. I've questioned everything a million times over as to how I parent her. But the truth is, I parent all three the same. She's just an exception.

    My husband and I were talking about it one night and it hit me, and I said to him "She's an extraordinary child and she will do great things with her personality & sass…but parenting her, will be difficult" LOL

    Be encouraged. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

    As for the phone: SO brutal! I did see something on the Nate show about how to save a phone that's been thrown in the toilet. 1-remove battery immediately 2-put on a towel for 10 mins each side 3-let it sit in rice for 48 hrs 4-put battery back in and it should be "back"
    (hopefully though, you never have to use these tips and it never happens again)

    Good luck, Ash! You, my friend, are earning your (Momma) stripes.

  4. Carmen @ Life with Sprinkles on Top says:

    You'll like the park better when you don't have to chase him around all the time and help him do everything. It's more fun when you can just sit on the bench and watch. ;)

  5. Erica @ Acire Adventures says:

    Your 'hubs' sounds like a wise man! We all have those days, believe me. For some people they are worse and more often, but that is parenting. And your feelings are no less valid because your context is "easier" than other people's contexts. The fact is that you aren't a single mom, your little boy doesn't have disabilities, and so you have to deal with him as a normal (if incredibly defiant) little boy. So you do what you do in your own situation. And mommy guilt is unavoidable, but at the end of the day you are still you even though you are mommy now too. You don't have to love every thing that Baby W wants you to do and love, it's just not possible.

    Thanks for the rant, though, it's always nice hearing that I'm not the only mom with mommy guilt. :)

  6. Maestra Orquestra says:

    Thanks for sharing your mommy guilt today. I had a sobbing episode today to because I just felt like I wasn't cutting it. This has eased my mind so much. Thanks!

  7. Everyone has challenges in life and each of ours are different, but each is no less important than another. It is just our job as mothers and human beings to be honest and offer support.
    I have had those days (like you) and I consider myself to be a patient, kind, and loving person. But on "those days" it is all about survival.
    Don't ever feel alone or less of a mom, we have all been there! :)

  8. This is beautiful and perfect and I (and all moms, I'm sure) can relate in so, so many ways.

  9. Oh little Miss Ashley-
    Mama guilt. That guilt means you are a good mama. And Just because you are at your wits end and complaining doesn't mean you are not grateful. But it also doesn't mean its not HARD. Remember those facts I shared about being my BFF? I said my Ali McBeal was me running at full steam away from my house. Away from my children. Away from the word MOM. That thought makes me feel SOOO guilty. But I've never done it. I just want to sometimes. The fact that you are worn out and frustrated proves you are doing it all right. Sometimes, now when MY baby W (WHO IS NOW 12) tells me he hates me….I pat myself on the back and say ok that means I am doing a good job…If he didn't hate me that would mean I don't care. And I care enough to make him hate me. That's good right? And then I go to my room and cry. Just like you just did.

  10. I like it, I love it! says:

    If I have said it once, I have said it 100 times. Guilt is by far the biggest emotion that I have felt through this whole parenting gig. As a working (out of the home) Mom, I am constantly feeling the Momma guilt. We all feel it, no matter the circumstance. You are not alone, so hang in there! From what I hear, we are in for a bumpy (but amazing) ride!

    megandcalconner.blogspot.com

  11. Lindsay says:

    I can totally relate to your "Mom guilt"…but you are the BEST Mom for your Son no matter what..even if you dread going to the park ;) Sorry to hear about your iPhone :( BOO!

    -Linds
    Delighted Momma

  12. i adore your blog, and all your stories and experiences you share. they help us all. I dropped my iphone in the toilet monday, today it turned back on..have that hubby of yours take it apart for you and put both pieces in a bowl of rice so they are each completely covered. I let mine sit in the rice for three days, went to a fix a phone place they put it back together and it worked :) not a thing was wrong.. good luck

  13. i adore your blog, and all your stories and experiences you share. they help us all. I dropped my iphone in the toilet monday, today it turned back on..have that hubby of yours take it apart for you and put both pieces in a bowl of rice so they are each completely covered. I let mine sit in the rice for three days, went to a fix a phone place they put it back together and it worked :) not a thing was wrong.. good luck

  14. Every mother goes through difficult times whether they are a mother of one, multiples or a child with disabilities.

    I am a mother of two amazing beautiful identical twin girls and let me tell you ITS HARD and whenever I get so overwhelmed I find myself thinking GOSH if only there was ONE of you… and before I can even finish that sentence in my head of course I have instant guilt because I am so blessed to have not one but TWO healthy little girls when some can not have any.

    So what I take from this post other than your blog is amazing and inspiring is that being a mother is a hard job whether its to one, multiples, childrens with disabilites, or a single mother but I'm sure if you look at the big picture your son has so many more good days than that one bad day and will make you so proud of him in so many ways over the years than he ever made you mad and this is bc you are a GOOD MOMMA!

    Being a momma will be your biggest job, success, and at times failure BUT in the end ITS ALL WORTH IT!

  15. Danielle Bartran says:

    I hear you Momma. I hate the park so much, I basically REFUSE to take my son there. It is a RARE special treat…

    And I have a (2 year old) toddler too. And sometimes I just have to tell myself that some day this toddler will be a teenager and that HAS to be worse than THIS!

    And my mom was trying to help me out not too long ago and put my not even a year old iPhone 4 into the washing machine…and didn't realize it for maybe 15 minutes of the wash cycle :( but luckily I didn't turn it on and googled right away and discovered that they do dry out—and mine now works after living in rice for 2 weeks. I blogged about it if you need more details: http://daniellebartran.blogspot.com/2011/04/saving-my-iphone-4-from-visit-with.html

    And my guilt is that I'm thankful I didn't have to deal with my son touching poop like yours did.

    Hang in there…some day he'll be a teenager and that has to be worse!

  16. Heidi@TheCraftMonkey says:

    Oh this post hit home so hard, it made me cry! I've been struggling with this too. The Mommy guilt is awful!

  17. Rayna Lee says:

    I have 2 children one special needs. And I think your doing a great job. We all get mommy guilt in fact I had some a few minutes ago. My special needs son tends to get more attention then my younger mommies boy. I love them both so much but no matter how much I try there's never enough time in the day plus my special needs son is into absolutely everything all day long and even though he can understand what I'm saying he chooses to do the opposite at the end of the day I'm beat. We all have mommy moments we wouldn't be human if we didn't. Your doing a great job regardless of how many kids you have. Hang in there and stay strong.

  18. I have four daughters under the age of 6. Some times, when it's quiet, I think back to when I had one daughter, and how overwhelmed I felt. As we've added more to the flock, I often find myself trying to "regroup"…."did I hug each of them today? Have I been too hard on Addison/Tegan/Myka today? Do I do enough activities with them?"
    I understand where you're coming from mama!
    And, I have to say, I think the fact that you even think about those things and TRY to improve your mothering (which doesn't sound like it needs much improvement), speaks volumes!

  19. Shauna says:

    Words of wisdom: put your iPhone in a bag of rice for a about a month and if you wait and don't try to turn it on (just put it in a drawer and try to forget about it) it will most likely work.

    I did the exact thing to my phone, minus a child throwing it, plus a few drinks, plus my phone being in my back pocket… It worked like new in about a month!

    Sorry about Baby W and Happy Mothers day! You're doing great

  20. XtOphY Design Studio says:

    oh my goodness, oh my goodness, oh my goodness!!! i have sooooooo been there, minus my prized posession iphone 4. you know, i hit panic when my son was 2, and i thought he would NEVER understand or listen to me (or ever NOT talk like a caveman). there's a scary period of time when you know they need to start listening to you–and stop pushing you to the limits every day. you feel like you SHOULD be in control, but wonder if you ever will be. but, i promise you, it's like one day it all clicks. they start saying words instead of grunts, you start to understand each other effortlessly, they start listening to you, and all is right with the world. :) then baby #2 comes along, and you somehow feel less worried about all the things you worried about with baby #1 ;) hang in there momma!

  21. Stacy P. says:

    I guess I want to add my "been there, done that" comment to the stack! My 3 are now 11,9 and 5…and we have a 6 month old puppy. I've taken to looking at the puppy and scolding her for doing "puppy" stuff. Then I get the guilty feeling for scolding the puppy!! That guilt feeling carries over and on and yes, while we do have healthy kids, husbands who are caring, etc, etc, etc, we all need that moment of guilt/oh-my-gosh-I-can't-believe-I-actually-signed-up-for-this.
    It lessens, but never goes away. I think it is God's way of reminding us of what is important.
    And the iPhone…yeah…I'm with you on that one. You could have called me to commisserate, but you didn't have a phone. :)
    kiss baby W and kiss your hubs, drink a glass of wine or whatever and know tomorrow starts fresh.

  22. Anonymous says:

    I love your blog even though I'm not yet a Momma. As for your phone, if you can find a mall that has a kiosk with the people that fix iphones, they can do WONDERS with iphones. My phone had been dropped in a river and it didn't work AT ALL. After a few months I finally gave in and went to see if the iphone kiosk people could fix it, not really expecting that they could do it. They fixed it and it worked awesome! Just a thought:)

  23. mommymandi says:

    Your husband is right. Even mommy's with babies that have medical conditions would get upset if their baby threw their iphone in the toilet.
    I know it's trivial compared to a medical condition, but when you are having a rough day and then something like that happens, it's frustrating.
    So as mommies, we we get upset, cry, and know that tomorrow is a new day.
    What a precious apology from your baby. So sweet!

  24. I have a beautiful little girl named Briella (nicknamed baby B) ;-) and I love reading your blog. I can totally relate to mommy guilt. Both kinds! Keep up the good work, blogging and mothering. You have inspired me to start my own blog.

  25. MamaMonki says:

    Oh I completely feel you. I know for a fact that my two year old weeman at times knows exactly what he's doing – like last night when he was mad at me b/c I told him he couldn't go outside and he yelled "hate you mommy" – where'd he even hear that? and to use it right then. Ugh.

    Sometimes they test our patience and our love and I think every mommy feels that way – I have yet to meet one that doesn't at some point. But we just keep moving forward and loving them more. My mantra has become "someday he won't want to climb all over mommy" or "someday he won't be banging on the door/table/dog making noise – he'll be too big for that" and I know then I'll look back at these days and miss them so much. That helps me get through life with a two year old.

  26. Andore says:

    I Love reading your blog, and I do every night. My daughter is 16 months and I am going through a lot of the things that you are, and it puts me at ease that Im not the only one. Yes I have guilt trips,and there are bad days (a lot of bad days) but somehow we pull through and everything is okay. Our husbands are our rocks and they are our blessings too. You are a wonderful mom, and there will be bad days =) but we will be okay too. =)

  27. First of all, take the battery off your phone (if you can do that with an iPhone and put it in a bag of rice for a day or two. The rice will suck the moisture out of the phone.

    Second, don't feel that kind of guilt. This is coming from a momma with two kids, one who has autism. The one who doesn't have it…way HARDER! Doesn't make any sense, but he is just that plain stubborn. He is 19 months old and KNOWS when he is doing wrong and LOVES IT! He really tries to get the best of me every day. So keep your chin up, if you are more persistent and patient than he is, he will come around.

  28. Autumn says:

    I won't understand until I am Mom, but just think…you are a better Mom than you were two years ago and that is progress in itself.

  29. Oh, Ashley! I hear you on all counts.

    And… I'm thankful that we have the kind of hubs who not only let us be human moms, (even when we're expecting ourselves to be supermoms!) but gently remind us that a human mom is the perfect kind of mom.

    <3

  30. You hit the nail right on the head! I feel every type of guilt you just mentioned at LEAST once a week. I too am a mom of a 2 year old (just turned 2 last weekend). I felt like I was reading my own words while reading your post. Hang in there Momma! We have one of the hardest jobs in the world, and 20 years from now you are going to look at your sweet Baby W and think 'Wow, I did a great job!' and Im sure he will think the same.
    Happy Mothers Day!

  31. It's a serious fight. I have a little boy with the exact personality. Every single thing I do with him is difficult. I feel the way you feel ALL THE TIME! You are absolutely NOT the only one. I seriously have to just tell myself to get through the day sometimes. My husband works out of town and I just had my third baby and a lot of days I am just broken down from the morning and it is all I can do to get through the day without screaming bloody murder in a room by myself. Some days though are much better. My baby is wonderful and my oldest son is very easy and that is what gets me through. It can only get better.
    Thanks for keeping it real!

  32. Oh this made me cry. That's one smart hubs you have there!

  33. Missie Krissie says:

    Mummy guilt is sickening. But you know there was really no reason for it. He did something wrong, he knew it was wrong, he was disciplined accordingly. The main thing I try to remember is that I am raising adults, they will not be children their whole lives. Life is full of lessons, and you just taught him one. He understands a bit more now, so you have done your job well. It really is a toddler's main priority to push the boundaries and see how far they can get away with things. So I think you did a good job. Don't allow yourself to be sorry, it didn't hurt him and he learned not to do that again. Things are as they should be. Chin up :) ps. your husband is also doing his job well, reassurance is the name of the game for daddies :)

  34. I had the WORST week with my kids (almost 3 and 20 months). The amount of mommy guilt over the awful feelings can be too much sometimes and I wonder if I was crazy to think this whole SAHM thing was a good idea. The jury may still be out on that one, but I cling to the amazing moments I do get to have with my kids and try to remember that it does go SO fast, it really does.

  35. Kassie and James Rew says:

    You are doing a great job… I can tell just by how you write about him. Any mama would be upset, for sure!

  36. Cherry Blossoms says:

    I love your blog and posts so much as you are so real! I'm not going to lie this post made me teary eyed for my own reasons but then also a sense of oh my gosh I am so glad I am not the only one who would have acted/ felt that way.
    I hope you have a wonderful weekend with your boys!

  37. Dang girl, not the iPhone!
    My baby boy, now age 12, was Wesley. So stinkin cute, so yummy, and then so defiant, so difficult, all in the wink of an eye. I used to say to my husband, where does he get this behavior from? He comes from a happy home, I smile and play with him all day long, he is the center of the universe, do you think he has psychological problems? What am I doing wrong? And he grew to be a boy that is so smart, so athletic, a question-asker, always active, but a GREAT kid, and I wish I knew then what I know about him now…..that he'll be just fine. And so will Wesley. And so will you, even though those days are so HARD – you'll get through it and then wish for it back again!!! But oh I feel your mama guilt!
    Your baby boy is exploring his boundaries and you are such a wonderful mom. Enjoy the good times and take a deep breath in the more challenging ones!

  38. nicole. says:

    mama, i have one of "those" kids. you know the kind that when your out in public people stare at you like your NOT in control, ever. the kind that no matter how many times you tell them – they ignore and proceed on. the resilient, strong, independent kind. the child who laughs at time-out's and sometimes even has the nerve to finish your ever so threatening count to three… yep. thats MY kid.

    i have faith there is a reason for his complete and utter difficult temperament.

    ive questioned every decision and parental instinct i have with him

    {and, i should say… i also have a 15 year old girl… who you think would be causing my headache and tears.. but nope. shes perfect… and always has been. you know the kind of kid who always wanted to please mommy – would never EVER touch poop or even think of throwing mommys cell phone}.

    im sure your an amazing mama. our boys… they might be stinkers and completely exhausting….

    but perfect.

  39. Alexandra says:

    Hang in there. You're hubby was right, any mom would be upset to have their new phone become a floater. Try putting it in a tupperware with rice and let it be for a day. This will get the moisture out. Then try turning it back on. I used to work with cell phones so I know that water damage isn't covered by warranty, so unless you paid extra for insurance the phone company won't do a thing to help you out. You can try salvaging the screen and swapping out the electronics. Sounds complicated, but I've done it before and it's not that bad. Email me if you would like more info.

    Again hang in there and enjoy the happy and fun moments.

  40. Ginger says:

    this is a very familiar story. i think our boys are about the same age. i want to have two more kids (i am crazy) but when my son acts up like this i wonder if i am even a good enough mother to have one child. i start to think that maybe i wasn't meant for this "job". when he is hitting, kicking, and throwing things i just lose it and break down and cry. but like you said they come with their little kisses and it really does make everything better and totally worth it.

    thank you for sharing your bad day. it is comforting to know that i am not alone.

    Ginger

  41. Hey, just a random reader (actually friends with your SIL Emily) but I wanted to say thank you for posting this!!! I often feel the same way, like I shouldn't get so frustrated because I only have one kid, or I work full time so I should cherish every moment I have with my 15 mo old. But it's hard! Parenthood takes patients and perseverance, sometimes I feel like I have neither and I feel like a bad mom! Thank you so much for being so real on your blog! Makes a tired mom feel better at the end of the day :)

  42. pyshirname says:

    I have 2 kids of my one & this behavior indicates the child misses you……………believe me my kids misbehave the most when I spend all my time blogging & doing my own things………….it's his call for attention!
    he's really young & needs his momma more than he is getting probably:)
    I totally understand your situation,I hope things get better with time:)

  43. I cried myself to sleep just last night about my youngest child and how hard he is to parent. Thanks for being honest because sometimes I think I am the only one really struggling with stuff like this.

  44. Kirsten @ Mushki Loves says:

    YOU ARE AMAZING! Thnk you for all you share! I LOVE YOUR BLOG!
    Happy Mother's Day!

  45. Kara @ Mine for the Making says:

    i heart you and i heart your blog and i heart that i can totally relate with you….like totally.

  46. Lindsay says:

    Oh Ashley, Im so sorry for your terrible day. Mommy hood is SO HARD! Regardless if we have it easy or not. Call me though, I may have a solution for your iphone :) It worked for me!! HUGS girly!

  47. Nicolette @ Momnivore's Dilemma says:

    Even us mamas who have it harder {my oldest is autistic}…still have those days. I am racked with guilt for not paying attention to my special needs son every moment of the day.

    It's exhausting. It's okay to admit defeat at times, because let's face it, kids have far more energy than us!

    Rather than time out, I do "time away". If the kids are grating on me that much, in their room they go.
    I lock them in, and walk away until I gain my composure.

    Now that I am back in yoga again, I feel more centered as a mom. More at peace.

    I just hope apple sends you a new phone!

  48. You know I'm a mom of a baby with a medical condition and frustration as a parent isn't selective! I cringed reading this because once again you've put yourself out there to recieve negative comments… but the honesty is why I love your blog so much.

    <3

  49. As the mom of three (3 under 2! I had twins when my oldest was 20 mos!) whose husband travels a lot, I often hear, "I shouldn't complain. You have it worse." But just because my situation is this and yours is that doesn't mean you aren't entitled to feel frustrated! Yes, being grateful is important. But being frustrated is a normal human emotion. And 2-3 year olds (oh, and older ones, too) happen to bring out the best in us.
    Trust me, its not Baby W or anything you've done. And I totally believe you that he looked at you with "that look" and tossed it in there. As much as that bites, its normal for that age. Welcome to the era of testing boundaries. It does. Not. Stop. Yeah, it changes/morphs, but its never ending.
    I can tell by the way you write that you are an awesome mommy. But hey – even the best ones on earth need a good cry and some reassurance now and again :)

  50. The Vintage Modern Bride says:

    ugh i wanted to cry with this post. i'm not a mom yet (heck, i'm not even married yet), but i've been around kids as a profession since i was 13. sometimes there are those days where we just snap. just know, that once you have your cry, you can come back the next day with new strength. i'll pray for you and hope for better days. just know that you're a great momma and you can do this!

  51. Brian and Elizabeth Shelley says:

    Your Honesty is amazing. I love how you started with talking about the park. I too hate going to the park. Unless I have a girlfriend there or a diet dr pepper.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. You will never know the lives you have touched by sharing these thoughts and who really needs to hear someone else say exactly how they feel.

    I hope we can get together soon. But maybe not go to the park! :)

  52. Um I think you entered my brain (and heart) and put exactly the way I feel into words today. period. love it. serious, love.

  53. You seem like a fantastic, loving mother. And your hubby also seems very supportive. I am not sure how old you are… so I hate to sound like an old mother hen because we might be the same age, but take it from someone who has three kiddos… They don't always listen. It's not your fault. You can be the best mom in the world and your child will still test you. You are doing a great job! Your blog posts are so inspiring because your love for your child and your husband shines through every time. You are a good mommy. Guilt is normal…we all go through periods when we think we suck. But God chose you to be a mommy to your son, didn't he? That says a lot. :0)

  54. Mejia Mamma says:

    god I freakin love this post… my thoughts exactly….mainly since I have a 2 year old (on May 20th, ahh) AND have a less than a year old iPhone 4. I would die if my daughter did that. But thank you thank youuuuu for making me realize that I'm not the only one that goes through tough days with my kiddo ;-)

  55. Hayley says:

    I am so familiar with these feelings. All I can tell you is that you are not alone. When you feel crazy for feeling guilty about your guilt, you are not alone. I am sorry that you feel this way. It's a hard feeling to shake.

    Oh and I totally believe you when you say he did it on purpose. 2 year olds are very capable of defiance. Little stinkers.

  56. Hayley says:

    P.S. I do NOT agree with pyshirname.

  57. Lauren says:

    You took the words RIGHT out of my mouth. its amazing how every line of this I felt the same way. isnt it crazy how our little boys can do this to us- give us ALL of those emotions in one day? hang in there you are far from alone.

  58. *katie says:

    YES, other mom's may have things harder off than you or I (a mom of 4yr old twin boys + a baby girl) but we have to remember that we aren't in their shoes, we are in OUR shoes and dealing with what we have right now!
    I'm impressed with how you handled this, I can't say I would have been as calm and cool as you!!

  59. Not being a mommy myself, I will not pretend to understand. Instead I will tell you that I think you're doing a good job. Sometimes you just need a good cry. And your husband sounds like a very good hubby and daddy. And I think he's absolutely right. Anyone would be upset over their iphone4! :)

  60. Jameil says:

    Girl please. Just because you think other women have it more difficult than you for any number of reasons doesn't negate you having a bad day! You don't have to feel guilty that your darling was acting like less than that. Furthermore, and more importantly YOU are the only person who expects you to be perfect!! And now you don't have to believe that anymore either. You're released.

  61. I don't know what it's like to be a Momma, I'm just not there yet. But my heart still goes out to you. Seriously, thanks for being so real and so transparent.
    Even with sad stories, you always find the silver lining and inspire me. You make me want to be a Momma some day.

  62. Jessica says:

    You have no idea how much I needed to read this today. Thank you.

  63. I just had to comment on this post because I can relate so much. Over the past few weeks I have fought so hard to keep positive and give my daughter (almost 2 1/2) the extra attention I think she needs because she is exhibiting the same type of behavior as your son….unfortunately lately most days she wins and I break down in tears, because I think her behavior is a reflection of my failures. But, then I hear from other Mommas that their experience is exactly the same, and I have to focus on the positives…my daughter is healthy, happy, smart, so I must be doing some things right, right?

    Hang in there and know that you're one of many mommas of 2-3 year olds who may be feeling lost and not in control most days, and that you are actually doing an amazing job.

  64. lacerbucket says:

    girl, i could have written this post myself. sounds exactly like days i have with my little guy. he's 2 too and there are days when i lose it and of course the guilt comes flooding in. but then, the next day he will be easy and sweet and all is forgotten. :) hang in there – and don't let him fool you, i guarantee you that he understands what time out is!

  65. suzie q. says:

    I have 'Momma Guilt' pretty much daily.

    Am I overreacting?
    Am I spending enough time with him?
    Am I focused on the right things?
    Should I really be mad?

    Every single day.

    I love reading your blog because it's so real. These are the things Mommas really think, but don't say.

    Thanks for saying it.

    http://www.semihomemadesuzie.com

  66. Okay, so I'm a single mom of a 3 year old boy with autism (that fits two of your 'worse off than me' categories, right?) and I hereby absolve you of that 'so many people have it much worse than me, what's wrong with me, I shouldn't complain, First-World problems, blah, blah, blah' guilt. All the guilt you talked about is totally NORMAL, and frankly, if another mother told me she didn't feel these things, ever, she'd probably be someone we'd all want to punch. In the face. And I bet her kids would be total hellions. I think feeling the guilt means we're doing it RIGHT, reflecting, trying to improve, trying to raise good human beings. And it's hard and we question ourselves and feel guilt about every little thing because when you are raising another human being, every little thing feels so damned important. Like everything is a test and you really can't screw it up or phone it in. Now I'm going to go back to reading your blog (that I just discovered), semi-ignoring my child while he watches the Wiggles and feeling guilty about it. Sigh/smile. Keep writing, you write the truth.

  67. •°•Brandy•°• says:

    I definitely could relate to this entry. They do understand, just like you, I know my boys too (8.5 years old and 2 years old). I enjoy your entries about motherhood as I can always relate I love the fact that you're so raw and real… This entry made me teary eyed as I have been there and still is. But you're right a good cry is always good. Hope you enjoy your Mother's day weekend, have a good time with the boys.

  68. ~ xo Jen xo~ says:

    Ashley,

    I just recently started reading your blog when I needed a cake pop recipie.I googled it, and stumbled upon your tutorial.Now,I subscribed to your blog, added you to my favorites tab and look forward to seeing what you have to blog about.From your tutorials, to your words of wisdom and honesty I'm hooked.
    I am a mommy of almost 5 in August, my oldest almost 18 years old and my little guy, who is 14months next week. It gets easier I promise, and even though I have laid awake at night over my teenagers, I know they'll turn out just fine, because I'm a good mommy who has always loved them and tried to understand them, just like you!! Hang in there girl, you are so blessed.
    ~Jen

  69. Lindsi says:

    Oh Mama! I am there everyday! My daughter is 4 and STILL acts this way a lot! It so frustrating, and I break all the time…nothing that I'm proud of, but it DOES happen!
    Your hubs is right – it's OK to get upset! You are human!
    Happy Mother's Day! xoxxo

  70. Gail at Gail-Friends says:

    When my kids were little (30 plus years ago), I used to tell myself "this, too, shall pass". It helped me hang on. Crying always helps, too. Hang in there, little Miss Momma. I love your honesty.

  71. Savannah says:

    I Know exactly how you feel!!! and I am so grateful that you write about these things so other mommas like ME, dont feel so alone and know that I am NOT the only one that goes through the quilt and anxiety of raising a two year old.
    I just love ya (not in a weird creepy way, but In a "I relate completely way")

    http://chasingmynoah.blogspot.com/2011/05/new-sponsor-and-giveaway.html
    also, come see my giveaway this week! its a fun one!

  72. Jeannette & Brandt says:

    I loved this post. I seriously just smiled and laughed the whole time because I felt like I was reading the story of my life! It is so good to know that I am not the only person who feels this way so thanks for being honest and putting it out there. My little girl is just a few days older than baby W and she is the exact same way. She will wait until I am looking at her and then when I tell her no! She gets this little grin on her face, like this satisfaction, and does whatever it is then I am telling her not too. We go through the same timeout thing too…and I keep asking myself why I am even bothering but I still do it anyway because maybe, some day it will sink in and she wont laugh at me when I tell her she is in trouble. I don't know about Baby W, but my Peyton has mastered her sorry voice and face and she is good at it!
    From what I can see, you're an amazing momma doing a wonderful job!

  73. Jeannette & Brandt says:

    I loved this post. I seriously just smiled and laughed the whole time because I felt like I was reading the story of my life! It is so good to know that I am not the only person who feels this way so thanks for being honest and putting it out there. My little girl is just a few days older than baby W and she is the exact same way. She will wait until I am looking at her and then when I tell her no! She gets this little grin on her face, like this satisfaction, and does whatever it is then I am telling her not too. We go through the same timeout thing too…and I keep asking myself why I am even bothering but I still do it anyway because maybe, some day it will sink in and she wont laugh at me when I tell her she is in trouble. I don't know about Baby W, but my Peyton has mastered her sorry voice and face and she is good at it!
    From what I can see, you're an amazing momma doing a wonderful job!

  74. Kelsee says:

    Ok, if you don't lock yourself in the bathroom or closet at least once a month, then there is something wrong with you. I do a series on my blog called "My Little Monster Monday" that illustrates my handful of a son. He can just make me so nuts at times and I do lock myself in the closet just to cry a bit all the time as I have two kids that love to beat on each other and push my buttons. My son is 28 months and he KNOWS when he is doing something wrong and gives me the same "what are you going to do about it now mom?" look almost daily. Just remember that our Heavenly Father doesn't give us anything we cannot handle. So when he gives us sons that make us want to sell them to the Gypsies on occasion, it's ok, because we can make it through. The mommy guilt is awful, but it just means that we are doing a good enough job that we feel bad about the little things that don't really matter in the long run. Hang in there and know that you are not alone.

  75. We are also right in the middle of being two years old :) I hate to call it "terrible," because there are worse things! Sometimes I have severe Mommy guilt, especially when I feel like I lose my cool. I just strive to be so mindful, and remind myself that tackling these little hurdles NOW, will make the hurdles later easier. I mean, can you imagine having a five year old act like your two year old does now???

    Hang in there!

    I'm so happy I began following your blog! Very inspirational and a new bright spot in my blogger world :)

  76. Cami @ All Things Lovely says:

    Can I just say your post brought me to tears! I had the exact same experience last night…not with a phone but similar and my child is only 1. But he can be so difficult sometimes. It had been one of those days and I snapped! Not in a harmful way! Just mentally snapped and sobbed and then felt guilt and then thought what am I doing wrong?! and then more guilt. So thank you for this post I needed it!
    You're a wonderful Momma…Happy Mother's Day!

    xoxo
    Cami

  77. Jessica from Daisydotdesign.blogspot.com says:

    Oh I think all of us Moms have thought this a time or two. I know on those days that I feel like I put my 22month old in time out numerous times, for some of the same things that I have in days past, I get so frustrated!!! I sometimes think "Is this really worth it", but I see how much more obedient she is in the long run in comparison to other kids and I have to realize it does/will make a difference in the long run!!
    And I so know that look of defiance you talked about…My little girl does the same thing. I totally would have cried like you did if my iphone had been thrown in the toilet!!! I would've CRACKED!!
    Don't be too hard on yourself…I think those feelings are normal, and I know, you know that there is someone who know exactly how you feel about all of it, cause He has felt it. Isn't that a great comfort!!
    You made an effort to be more attentive to W's needs. Be happy that you made the effort!!!

  78. Vicky H. says:

    I hate going to the park too. The swings are my enemy. Don't feel bad. You are allowed to not like something.
    As for the phone. You did fine. We all melt down, lose it, and have a good crying jag. It doesn't mean we don't love our kids, appreciate what we have, and are grateful to have a wonderful family. It just means we are at the end of our rope and need some help pulling ourselves up again.
    Husbands are good at that!
    Love your blog. Keep it up and remember your Heavenly Father loves you even when you are mad at yourself. (That is what I tell myself anyway!)
    V.

  79. Dear Ashley, I have 4 and actually I wonder how mom's of ONE do it! Mine keep eachother pretty entertained and I am not their sole entertainment, although we have sung Elmo's World more times than I'd like to count. You're a great encouragement to me, and countless others! And yes, I have friends who have kids with medical problems or disabilities and they would be upset if their kid threw their phone into the toilet! It happens, and thank goodnes it's "This too shall pass," instead of "This too shall stay!"

  80. Keianna Johnson (KeeKeeAllNatural) says:

    I understand mommy guilt all to well. I have 4 children and I often feel guilty when I yell at them. I have a good reason to at time but I always feel guilty and soften up by doing something extra nice fir my kids. Thanks for sharing this post.

  81. Keianna Johnson (KeeKeeAllNatural) says:

    I understand mommy guilt all to well. I have 4 children and I often feel guilty when I yell at them. I have a good reason to at time but I always feel guilty and soften up by doing something extra nice fir my kids. Thanks for sharing this post.

  82. Justcallmeblessed says:

    I remember those days. The most guilt I ever felt was when I had just given birth to my youngest daughter. I felt so much guilt over my oldest not being an only child with her parent's undevided attention and affection. They are 7 and 9 now and all is well. They cant go very long without eachother. They are best friends. I love that.

  83. Guilt is the worst. I wish I didn't have it so much too. I also think just because someone else has a worse situation than you or me, don't mean being a mother isn't hard. We learn as we go. We make mistakes, we compare ourselves to others. But at the end of the day if we are grateful for the things we have I think that we are doing ok.

  84. Casey Martinez says:

    I can only imagine how many moms sat here nodding their heads going uh huh I can totally relate to every singnle thing she is saying. Thanks for saying what so many of us feel too guilty to blog about and thus lighten the guilt for each other. IT's good to be real. Being a mom is hard!! Hard HArd Hard whether we have one child or 6 it is a full time, seven day a week job with not nearly enough breaks to recharge our weary bodies and minds. Our crazy love for our kiddos is what keeps us chugging miraculously onward day after day. You are a good momma! You don't like the park and my confession is that I don't like to let my daughter feed herself…ever becuase I hate cleaning up the mess all over her clean body. Such a taxing extra effort!! lol. Thanks for being real!

  85. cakegirl says:

    I came across your blog yesterday and quickly bookmarked it. You have an honesty that is untouched and unparalleled. If we all spoke this kind of truth maybe mommy guilt wouldn't exist. I loved this post, I think you rock.

  86. Alexis Kaye says:

    You are such a good mom! I love that I can see you're genuine. You can do it!

  87. Melissa says:

    Can I just say, "we've all been there." Seriously, I have had days where I wanted to turn in my mommy card. Mine is 3 now, and I know just what you mean about that look they get where you know that they know what they are doing, and they are just testing you to see how far you will let them go. Just stay consistent, and give them lots of love, it will all work out. Hang in there! Oh and by the way, your post, I have said those things, and felt those things so many times in my life!! Well said.

  88. Denise says:

    I have one of those kids with medical problems and my friends used to catch themselves complaining about an ear infection or something and then I would see the guilt all over their faces. I hate that. It's tough. Whatever kid God gives us is a big responsibility!!!! Ear infections, cranky babies, difficult toddlers….. All of that is enough to drive us over the edge. You get to get frustrated. You are human. :-)

  89. Leigh and Andy says:

    I also have one of those kids with a medical condition (spina bifida) and I, speaking for all of the moms of kids with special needs (can I do that?), say that it is totally acceptable, (mandatory, really!) that you get upset when your baby throws your iphone in the toilet! No guilt needed!! :) Love your blog, just found it a few days ago and have been reading ever since!!

  90. i had tears welling up in my eyes. zoe will be 2 next month and we are going through the exact same thing. she knows when she's doing something she's not supposed to. add to that the hitting, biting, hair pulling, pinching and you have one frazzled mama. and then she sees that i am upset and her little lip quivers and she says mama….ok?

    i know about that guilt too. i have a brother who drives truck and his gf takes care of their four kids alone most of the time. i have friends who have kids with bigger issues than going through the terrible twos and i feel just awful.

    so you're not alone. and i'm sure you are doing the best you can with what you are going through. your doing whats best for your baby and that's what matters.

  91. Jamie B. says:

    You are a beautiful person inside and out. You are a great momma i can tell! I was just wondering if you would check out my blog? No obligations or anything I am just new to the blog world and would love if you just looked.
    http://www.jamiebdesigns.blogspot.com

  92. jamie @ kreyv says:

    I bet EVERY mother has felt this way. We all have those days, the days where, quite frankly, we are feeling a little sorry for ourselves. I find myself feeling that way sometimes, then I feel like I have no right, because in the grand scheme of things, I don't have big problems. But, you know what, Ashley? Sometimes, we just need to vent. Sometimes we are emotional, and emotions are real. It doesn't mean we aren't grateful for what we have, it's just human nature, and we shouldn't feel guilty about it.

  93. Michelle Life Buy The Beach says:

    wish i could have been there for you baby…. my heart hurt when I got your call. i love you. mom

  94. Alayna says:

    My husband is in the military. He was in Iraq when our first baby was born and he didn't see her until she was 6 weeks old. I had one of those pregnancies when nothing was truly wrong but I felt sick all the time. It was rough. There have been TONS of rough moments since then. There would be moments when another mom was venting to me about one of her daily frustrations, then she would stop herself and tell me "but I shouldn't be complaining because look at what YOU are dealing with." And you know what I always said? SO WHAT? There will always be someone else that has a harder life than we are living at the current moment. But that doesn't mean that you are dealing with at the moment isn't also hard and worth venting about or being frustrated over. You are allowed to be upset. Not upset about it forever, but for a minute yes, get it out. You dealt with the whole day in exactly the way you should have. Just don't let the guilt creep in next time!
    Happy Mother's Day!

  95. Melissa says:

    This such a beautiful post. I think we all feel this way sometimes. Your hubby is right almost anyone would be upset over the phone……I lost my phone last week and it ruined the entire day. My son totally does the thing where he won't look you in the face when he knows he has done something wrong too….and it really bothers me. It is hard to see our little babies growing up and being a bit naughty, but I am reminded everyday of that they are still very innocent and pure of heart…..they are just testing and seeing what will happen. I think it is learning process for everyone! Sorry it was such a rough day! I hope you have a Happy Mother's Day!

  96. Crafts for kids says:

    I don't know why we feel so guilty as moms when a lot of our kid's behavior is age appropriate.

    I've gained a new perspective lately, I'm doing everything I feel can and I'm not feeling guilty over the things I can't do, and I've noticed I get much more accomplished when I'm not putting energy into feeling guilty. I think the guilt just holds us back.
    Plus I'm a lot happier!

  97. Kristen Duke Photography says:

    Has anyone mentioned putting your phone in a bowl of rice?

    Yes, anyone would be upset about something like that…the momma guilt comes and goes for various reasons. If we didn't feel it a little, we wouldn't be a good momma. It reminds us that we can always be a little better.

  98. The Hill Family says:

    I'm a "newbie" to your blog and I just love it. I have a 3 and 2 year old and I have to tell you I feel this way almost every single day. My oldest had a liver transplant at 12 weeks old and in response to what if mys on was sick or had special needs? I still get mad at my son, even though he had a liver transplant so you should feel no guilt about that. Keep your head up. Being a mom is the hardest and most rewarding job God gives us.

  99. Anonymous says:

    These type of post are the reason I read your blog.

    It is so refreshing to hear someone else in this world has the same internal dialog as me. "I only have one kid, single moms do this everyday, there are diabled moms…what do I have to complain about!"

  100. Lexie Loo & Dylan Too says:

    We all have those moments! Kids know just how to push our buttons. I hope you were able to save your phone.

  101. Lexie Loo & Dylan Too says:

    We all have those moments! Kids know just how to push our buttons. I hope you were able to save your phone.

  102. I hated the park! I hated Momma's that loved the park. You know the ones that will push their child on the swing for hours on end. I loathed chuck E. cheese and refused to have any of my kids parties there. I now have a 14 and almost 18yr. old and my once momma guilt is gone!! they are awesome kids even with all of their drama and they don't miss the park or the fact that they are probably the only kids to never have had a chuck e. cheese party. They have told me that I am the BEST MOM ever and God picked me for them because He knew I was the perfect Mom for them!! Baby W is a great kid and you are the GREAT MOM! Perfect for each other!

  103. SoFreshandSoPink says:

    Oh LMM, I hear ya! You are definitely not alone. Thank you for sharing this with us. It has just made my day.

  104. Tiffany says:

    Girl…I 100% understand. My son is terribly difficult and I feel that I am constantly disciplining, correcting whatever you want to call it 24/7. I understand the guilt. I have it too. You are not alone.

    Babies are, well, a real test to our character. They can make our heart swell so much you feel like you will burst. The next minute they make you want to run away and never look back.

    You are doing a great job. Hang in there and remember you are not alone!

  105. Oh the mommy guilt…and that feeling of embarrassment when other moms give you ‘that look’ when your kid is misbehaving, ah…it’s the worst. It's nice to know I'm not in this boat by myself!
    I'm now following you!
    Char
    The Epic Adventures of a Modern Mom
    http://1epicmom.com/

  106. The Zeediks says:

    Oh Ash.. I soo feel you. I have been having days like these lately. I have been leaving Halle's Mommy and me class asking to check out all the books they have to offer on parenting because I feel like I am failing, and then I don't find the time to read them. Double negative :) It is so hard to feel like your childs behavior is a reflection of you. I know how you feel I really do. I LOVE baby dubs and I think everyone who knows him does. You are awesome.

  107. Oh, I cannot relate to the "mommy guilt" as I dont have children but you are a wonderful mother! I love you and your blog!!

    I would totally be furious if my iPhone made it to the toilet! They are expensive!!

  108. Samantha says:

    I'm on a scavenger hunt to find the best blogs and I chose yours. I love it! This post stood out to me because I have boy named Wesley who is a tester of my patience but really I have felt or thougth many of the same things.
    @pilotswifestyle

  109. oh my gosh… i love this post more than i can even explain!! i am catching up on your blog and came across this post. that is the kind of guilt i am ALWAYS beating myself up about. i don't let myself be sad because i think its unacceptable. that other people have it worse off. but then i let all my stress and anxiety pile up until i totally have a meltdown. i love the words you put it in. i love that someone else can speak so clearly to my soul. thank you so much for this!

  110. I am so glad you reshared this today. I had never read it. Today was one of those days for me too. My toddler is going through the stage and just because I have been there before, doesn’t make it easier. It’s so hard!! I hear ya!!!

  111. So I was also having one of those days and a friend shared this with me and it made all the difference in the world. Good things to come on you tube by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. Hang in there. The good days far out weigh the bad & you are doing an amazing

  112. I definitely struggle with this same issue everyday. I have the same feelings of “mommy guilt” but I think ultimately it shows what a good, caring mother you are:)

  113. My daughter hit the terrible twos….i completely relate to this post!
    It can be so difficult at times…

    Amanda @ Lillys&Lollipops

  114. I had one of those days yesterday!
    Me feeling guilty and like I am THE worst mom ever.
    Feeling like I can’t handle my own child…and now I have two!
    Butt each morning is a new start ,falling in love all over again wwith her smile.
    And melting when she says:”mommy, you are my best friend”.

    You are doing a great job..
    It’s all a part of parenting I guess.

    Thanks for sharing and and making us mommy readers feel like we aare not the only ones.

  115. Oh my goodness gracious did I need to read this. This post brought tears to my eyes. I have had this exact day. The day where I am going to be positive and respond correctly to everything, then something too big to handle happens and I snap. Then I feel guilty and wonder how I would do it without my husband and family support. Then I wonder how I will ever have more kids. This was exactly what I need to read at exactly the right time. THANK YOU!

  116. Tearing up again lol. You have such a talent for writing, I can really relate to your stories.

  117. This sounds like a conversation I have with myself everyday…. Momma guilt suxs. Ugh. Why didn’t anyone warn me about this? I try so so hard to keep things in perspective, not to get too upset or emotional. But darn it! Some days can be so hard! But I try to count my blessings and thank God as much as I can. Great post.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] one time, my kid threw my brand new iPhone into the toilet. And I cried, literally. So after that incident, I got careful–I got organized.  My iPhone no longer lives within reach from a curious [...]

  2. [...] Little Miss Momma on Momma Guilt: Although I didn’t include it, you need to read their love story! It’s so sweet that she decided to write it down in story form for her kids to read someday [...]

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